Michael Woods is confident promotion is still well within Hartlepool United’s reach.
Woods says Pools must make sure they are on the front foot for Saturday’s visit to automatic promotion contenders, Dover Athletic.
The side - and fans - are still reeling from Saturday’s dramatic, and painful, late 2-1 defeat to Macclesfield, but Woods says Pools must be positive.
And the midfielder, whose second goal of the season last weekend proved in vain, explains the fact that so many teams are covered by so few points gives the team hope.
“We’re coming into a big spell and we need to get in and amongst it,” said the former Chelsea man.
“We are not that far off the play-offs, three or four wins and we’ll be right up there.
“It’s still in our hands, no-one is running away with it are they?
“It’s there for us for sure.”
Twelve points cover the top 14 teams, with Pools five points short of the play-offs and seven behind Saturday’s hosts, Dover.
Craig Harrison’s side squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to close that gap with some atrocious defending at the death against the Silkmen.
Individual mistakes proved costly, though the tempo that the manager demanded was there and Pools should have had the points in the bag long before the last-ditch calamities.
“There are no excuses for not playing with the same intensity,” said the 27-year-old.
“When we are at it I believe we can be a match for anyone, only ourselves can be our downfall.
“When we are at our best we play at a high tempo and get in people’s faces.
“We have got to have the intensity in our play.”
Pools are currently not being helped on the fitness front with Nicky Featherstone and Luke George joining a growing injured list.
But Woods says Pools have both the quantity and quality required.
“We have as big squad as anyone and it’s time we took advantage of that,” he added.