Ronnie Moore has implored Hartlepool United to carry their FA Cup performance into their League Two survival fight.
Pools need to get some points on the board after the gap to the relegation zone shrunk to just three points during the run of postponements.
I’ve told the players ‘you’ve set your standards, you don’t drop now’Ronnie Moore
But Moore’s side go into another tough league test this Saturday against Wycombe Wanderers with renewed self-belief.
Pools led Sky Bet Championship favourites Derby County in their third round thriller at Victoria park before the Rams fought back to snatch a 2-1 victory.
“I’ve told the players ‘you’ve set your standards, you don’t drop now’,” said Moore.
“If we drop below that, then we’re going to be in the mess we’re in.
“But If we play at that standard, with that endeavour, enthusiasm and commitment, then we will be all right.
“The performance on Saturday is one to build on – I want to play Wycombe now.
“They had a good result in the FA Cup and it’s going to be tough, but there are no easy games.
“If we perform like we did against Derby, we should not be frightened of anyone.”
Moore insists if the players can give a talented Derby team a run for their money then they can compete with their next two League Two opponents.
The visit of Wanderers is the start of 15 matches inside nine weeks, with a trip
to Accrington following on Tuesday.
Both sides are currently in the play-off positions on double the points of Pools.
“If we can lift ourselves to play Derby the players can do that against Wycombe and Accrington,” said Moore.
“I think the break has helped us – we looked fitter, sharper, brighter than we have done for a while.
“But we’ve got to do carry that on week-in, week-out.
“When you look at Derby’s attacking formation, and the players they’ve got, not one of my players let themselves down.
“We’re pleased about that.”
Despite the vote of confidence in his players, Moore is still pressing on with his search for players.
Pools are currently missing four key stars because of injury, Matthew Bates, Michael Duckworth, Carl Magnay and Billy Paynter, though the manager says if the current XI play like they did against the Rams they can pull clear of the bottom of the table.
“We’re trying to bring new blood in as well to make us better,” he said. “But if we can play like that then we won’t be looking over our shoulders.”