MICKY Barron hopes his Hartlepool United side can turn back the clock tonight and pull off a special Victoria Park triumph.
The caretaker boss believes promotion hopefuls Tranmere Rovers are “beatable” and recalls the night Pools sent another high flier crashing to the floor.
Eleven years ago, almost to the day, Pools thumped Division Three top cats Hull City 4-0 at the Vic – just four days after Chris Turner’s side had found themselves bottom of the Football League following a 1-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle.
Barron was even on target himself against the Tigers that night, though Gordon Watson stole the headlines with a hat-trick.
And while Pools need something of a Ryder Cup-style comeback tonight after the 6-1 trouncing in the FA Cup at Chesterfield on Saturday, he believes anything is possible (kick-off 7.45pm).
“I remember when we played Hull, they were top of the league and we were bottom,” said the 37-year-old.
“We beat them 4-0 so it can happen.
“There is no reason why a team at the bottom can’t beat a side at the top.”
But while Barron says he has the belief he explained that the squad need to share his optimism.
The stats and form guide would suggest nothing but an away win – Tranmere are 23 points above their hosts and have scored more goals on the road than Pools have home and away combined.
However, Barron old SportMail: “It will be tough but everyone is beatable.
“But the players need to believe that they can beat them.
“There’s no point it just being me.
“I have got to really nail it home, like I did before the Brentford game, that they can’t become bad players in 12 or 13 games.
“I thought I’d got through to them [given the impressive display and 2-2 draw at Griffin Park which followed].
“Then after Saturday it makes you think again.
“But it’s my job to try to get them out there as confident as possible.
“I think the start is going to be vital.
“If we start brightly – whether it’s a tackle or someone winning a header or, better still a goal, it will give the crowd a lift and that’s going to be really important.”
Barron admits life has been difficult since Pools imploded at Chesterfield, ironically having played some nice stuff early on.
“It’s been tough,” he said.
“I’m still really angry, frustrated and embarrassed – that list could go on and on and on.
“I’ve thought about how a team can perform so well [at Brentford] and then so badly the next game.
“We spoke on Monday and watched the DVD and a lot were individual mistakes.
“Monday was tough at training, everyone was down, but yesterday was about lifting everyone, focus on tonight’s game and being positive and try to do what we did against Brentford against Tranmere.”