SAM Collins admits Hartlepool United’s current plight is “uneasing” but insists they are good enough to bridge the widening gap to safety.
Paul Murray’s side are six points adrift already – seven in reality given their goal difference of minus 18 – but Collins is adamant they can climb the table if everybody works hard.
The crushing 3-1 loss to York City was the latest in a long line of defeats, with Pools now winless in six league matches.
Player coach Collins said nobody is enjoying life at the moment given the struggles on the pitch yet the 37-year-old believes there isn’t much to separate teams in League Two.
“We are in an uneasy situation now, at the bottom of the table,” said Collins.
“No-one is enjoying this, where we are.
“I think the majority of what we have are an honest group, 80 per cent of what we have got are people trying, caring.
“We have a brilliant staff and players really care. We don’t want to be where we are.
“We know why we are there, we know what’s gone wrong.
“What we need to get back up the table is to know that on our day we are good enough to beat anybody.
“We have played the better teams and are they much better than us? Probably not.
“It’s those small moments in key areas which prove the difference.”
On Saturday, Pools took the lead against Russ Wilcox’s side with a 27th-minute Scott Fenwick effort from close range and looked set to record only their fourth win of this miserable campaign.
But three goals in the space of 10 second-half minutes crushed Murray’s side into submission, leaving a six point gap to Carlisle United in 22nd.
Collins, who has been restored to the first team since Murray came in as manager, added: “We need to bridge that six-point gap.
“We need to make sure by Christmas that we are close to others around us.
“We all know games come along thick and fast and we have to get points to be in and around it and get a good spell to kick on from.
“We are always looking for positives, we always do.
“First-half against York was the best in a long time, for 30 to 35 minutes I can’t remember us playing that well.”
Last season under Colin Cooper, Pools flirted with the play-offs mid season before a spell of six straight defeats almost saw them relegated.
Collins, who had a spell as caretaker manager before Murray was appointed, says everyone needs to stick together in a bid to turn their fortunes around.
The next challenge is league leaders Wycombe Wanderers at home on Saturday.
“We survived last season and there’s a lot of reasons why we are where we are now, which aren’t for me to comment on,” said Collins.
“But we have to stick together as a club - everyone is in it.
“Work hard and we can turn it around.
“A win will give us something to build on and when I was doing the job, I spoke about momentum.
“Wycombe are up next and we have to look forward.”