Weekend hero Trevor Carson admits Hartlepool’s players have had to grow a thick skin to deal with all of the recent criticism thrown their way.
But the goalkeeper believes the troubles of recent weeks have made the unit stronger.
People may not think it was right for us to have a Christmas party, but we did
And he says the players have made a pact among themselves, that they will never let things slip to the depths of Cambridge or Port Vale again.
“We are only human,” said the Northern Irishman, who made a number of outstanding saves in Pools 0-0 draw at Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.
“We read the papers and the forums. We read what people are saying about us. It gets through to the players.
“It has been hard to read.
“The one thing I can say is that we are all fighting for the cause.
“Not one player goes out there to sack a game off.
“We are an honest group of players - maybe too honest. Easily the best group I have played with.
“And we are proud of each other after that, especially after what has been said and done in the last few weeks.”
One of the criticisms levelled at the squad on the message boards this week was the fact they allowed themselves a Christmas party in the aftermath of the five-goal home hammering by the U’s.
Carson stands by the decision for Pools to let their hair down, despite their on-field struggles.
In fact, the goalie thinks it has had a positive impact on morale within the Pools camp.
He explained: “People may not think it was right for us to have a Christmas party, but we did it.
“We have good team spirit at this club.
“We made a pact with each other then that Cambridge was rock bottom.
“We will never go below that.
“We have shown with the performance at Portsmouth that we are fighting for this football club. Some people did not believe we were.
“That has to be a catalyst.
“It can give us the belief we need to improve heading into the Christmas period.
“We now know that if the lads to a man do their job, we can get a result anywhere.”