Dave Jones says Hartlepool are United in their fight for Football League survival.
Pools are clinging to life - just one point above League Two’s relegation zone after their winless run was extended to six matches in an abject display at Leyton Orient.
Jones’s side were beaten 2-1 by the crisis club who fielded SEVEN teenagers in their starting XI.
It was an abject display, with second-bottom Newport County’s 6-1 mauling at Plymouth the only consolation.
Three wins from their last three matches would keep Pools up, but it’s difficult to see where the next victory will come from.
Jones admitted he felt let down by the players, but insisted it is a collective responsibility.
“You have to stand up and be counted and some of them did not do that,” he said. “But we are a united dressing room, we are all in it together, every single one of us. That starts with me.
“I’ve not many options I know, but did I pick the right team? Get the right formation? Did the players go out and perform? No.
“So we are all to blame. We are lucky because the other result went for us.
“Yes, I feel let down, but we’ve all done the letting down. We’ve let down the fans.”
It looks like a two-horse race now for the final relegation spot alongside Leyton Orient, who look doomed despite the win.
Cheltenham and Yeovil both won to boost their survival chances.
It means Pools must produce the goods this Saturday at home to mid-table Barnet.
“We have to [get the result],” said Jones. “We got away with it [yesterday’s result], we won’t get away with it again.”
Jones said he was “shocked” how Pools let a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 deficit before half-time.
“First 15 minutes we were OK, the next 30 minutes we were more than half a yard off the pace,” he shrugged.
“Why? We have to find out and see where we go.”