Trevor Carson says Hartlepool United should be ready to race out of the traps at Newport County on Saturday.
Pools return to action at Rodney Parade on Saturday having had the Boxing Day weekend off following the postponements of their matches against Notts County and Carlisle United.
We should be going there fresh, Newport have played Saturday and MondayTrevor Carson
While Ronnie Moore’s side have been having a breather, County have had two matches inside 72 hours, a 2-0 defeat at Barnet on Saturday and a 2-1 home loss to Plymouth on Monday.
The results have left John Sheridan’s side level with Pools on 20 points, while Moore’s men have three games in hand on the Welsh club.
Carson says Pools must target maximum points on Saturday.
“There can be no excuses for this week,” said the keeper.
“We should be going there fresh, Newport have played Saturday and Monday.
“I think it’s a place to go and expect nothing less than three points
“We’ll go into the game buzzing and keen to do well, I just hope it’s not a damp squib.
“It’s been said before, but we have a great set of lads and there’s been no lack of effort, may be a lack of quality.
“But if we play as we can I’m more than confident we can get the three points.”
Pools will be chasing their third double of the season, having beaten Newport 1-0 back in August at the Vic.
Much has changed since that Tuesday night, including the return of Carson who
missed the first 15 games with a toe injury.
“I was injured for that game early in the season and I watched it from the stands,” he said.
“To be honest, on the night, it was two poor sides and not a great game.
As Carson said in SportMail yesterday, he admits Pools are off-colour, having lost four in a row in League Two, albeit all against leading sides in the division.
There has been promise against Oxford and Plymouth at home but no rewards.
“It’s been massively frustrating,” said the 26-year-old.
“I think we’ve just had too many players out of form at the same time.
“I don’t believe we have bad players, we have a really decent squad for this league, I don’t think we are that far away from being a team that could challenge.
“Unfortunately at the minute we may be have too many players out of form and lacking in confidence.”