Hartlepool United haven’t won back-to-back National League games since September - but could that soon change?
Pools have found it difficult to string together a run of results during the current campaign, with inconsistencies in both performances and results blighting their progress.
That led Craig Hignett to concede that it would take an ‘unbelievable run’ in order for Hartlepool to reach the play-offs this campaign.
But could it be possible?
We take a look at Pools’ next FIVE National League fixtures to see what the chances are of the side taking maximum points:
EBBSLEET (A) - 19 FEBRUARY
The rearranged clash arguably couldn’t come at a better time for Pools.
Full of confidence after Saturday’s win at Boreham Wood, Hignett’s side will hold no fear when they travel to an Ebbsfleet side who hav1e picked up some eye-catching results of late.
Victories over promotion-chasing Leyton Orient and Harrogate in recent weeks have seen the Fleet close in on a play-off place.
But they lack consistency and at times discipline, which could Pools the chance to claim another away win.
Verdict: It won’t be an easy game by any means, but Pools could well be capable of taking maximum points from Stonebridge Road
BROMLEY (H) - 23 FEBRUARY
Next up for Pools at the Super 6 Stadium are a Bromley side who are also sat comfortably in mid-table.
The Londoners have arguably defied expectations in the National League and will be keen to take maximum points from one of their longest trips of the campaign.
Indeed, they have lost just one of their last eight in allcompetitions - albeit, several of those results have been draws - and will be full of confidence ahead of visiting the North East.
Verdict: An in-form Bromley side could prove a tricky assignment for Hignett, but Pools will need to win games such as this if they want to push up the National League.
SUTTON UNITED (A) - 2 MARCH
Sutton currently occupy one of the league’s play-off places and will be keen to hold onto that place in the final weeks of the campaign.
Their form, though, has been mixed in recent weeks.
They were undone by a late Barrow goal on Saturday and have struggled to piece together a winning sequence in recent weeks.
Still, with play-off experience from last season, betting on the Gander Green Lane outfit to retain their top seven spot wouldn’t be a bad shout.
Verdict: This could arguably be one of the toughest tests Pools will face between now and the end of the campaign. Bringing any sort of result home would surely have to be considered a positive.
DOVER ATHLETIC (H) - 9 MARCH
While Pools will spend most of their next five games facing sides battling it out for play-off places and promotion, the visit of Dover provides a different challenge.
The Whites currently sit 20th in the National League and will be desperate to put further distance between themselves and the drop zone.
A glance at the league table would suggest this would be a routine victory for Hartlepool - but caution should be urged, especially given that Andy Hessenthaler’s side won 3-1 at Salford in their last outing.
Verdict: Dover’s fighting spirit and desire to remain in the division could make them a difficult nut to crack, but Hartlepool should have too much for the Whites.
AFC FYLDE (A) - 12 MARCH
Perhaps the toughest test faced by Pools in their next five games will be that of AFC Fylde.
The promotion-chasers currently sit fourth in the National League and have designs on securing promotion to the EFL.
A midweek trip to Mill Farm will be a real test of how Hignett’s transformed squad stack-up against some of the best the division has to offer.
Hartlepool can take confidence, however, from the fact the Coasters have lost two of their last four league outings.
Verdict: A trip to Fylde is a tough ask for any team in this division. Similarly to Sutton, a point from this trip may well be considered a good result.