Carl Magnay insists he is not a man who likes looking at league tables, not yet anyway.
But it’s not stopped the captain declaring that he won’t be happy until Hartlepool United are top.
A reluctance to even take a glimpse at the National League standings is understandable.
Pools head to sixth-place Woking this Saturday having dropped to 17th on the back of the 2-1 defeat to Eastleigh.
Football, and life, is littered with ‘what ifs’ though if Pools had beaten the Spitfires they would today be 11th and a mere four points behind leaders Sutton.
“Personally, I don’t like looking at the table or the points we’ve collected, not until we have reached the business end of the season,” said the right-back.
“We’ve been on this little run, we’ve won four and drawn one and then after Saturday I’m hearing we are 17th, so it looks as though were are not making progress.
“I don’t like that so, for me, I like taking it one game at a time and trying to take three points every single game.
“If the table is congested, it’s congested, but as a Pools player I want to be top of the tree, that has to be our ambition, it will be going forward. It was our ambition on Saturday, but it just didn’t click.”
There was no shortage of graft, but Pools were a little off-colour with Magnay admitting he was a player who fell shy of his best form.
“Why I didn’t play my best game, I don’t know, I felt great going into the match,” he said.
“I think it was just one of those days, maybe two, three others weren’t either, I can’t really explain it.”
However, he said Pools were ready to hit back at Woking, one of the division’s form sides following three straight victories.
That desire within the squad, to take Pools up, burns as brightly as ever, saying they are determined to put things right at the Kingfield Stadium.
“Absolutely,” he said.
“We’ll be really positive, keep the mood where it should be, because the lads have been fantastic of late. You can’t fault the work-rate, we just didn’t click on Saturday.
“We need to make sure the quality is good this week and keep demanding from each other.”
Magnay explained how Pools need to see off sides around the in the table – not just the top contenders. The 2-1 defeat to Eastleigh allowed the Spitfires to leapfrog them.
”We’ve won against sides you would expect to be up at the top of the league, the likes of Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge.
“But, it’s like any division, if you want to be up there, you need to beat the likes of Saturday’s opponents.
“If you looked at their side, they have good, experienced players, but we should have buried them in the last half-hour. We’d have been expected to win on Saturday and those are the types of games if you want to achieve success, they have to be the matches we have to get the three points from.
“We’re not too disheartened because we know we have two or three more gears to move into.
“We’ll be doing all we can to perform at Woking to the standard we expect of ourselves.”