Hughes highlights critical run

Hartlepool manager John Hughes believes the next seven games will prove crucial to his side's survival chances this season.

Last Updated: 17/01/13 at 17:12

Hughes: Awaiting 'massive' February

Hughes: Awaiting 'massive' February

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Hughes, who replaced Neale Cooper as boss in November with the club rooted to the foot of League One, has won only one of his first nine matches in charge, but with draws at Walsall and Shrewsbury and three defeats by a single goal, the Scot remains upbeat about his side's chances.

Pools, 12 points adrift of safety with 20 games remaining and with only two wins to their name all season, will now play five of their next seven fixtures at Victoria Park, starting on Saturday with free-falling Colchester.

"This next month is massive," Hughes said. "There's no point hiding from it now. We have to stand up and be prepared to take it on the chin. We have been working towards this and have to start turning unlucky losses into draws and unlucky draws into wins.

"We have to be spirited. It's a great time to play Colchester. We have to jump on them and use their situation to our advantage.

"Colchester will be lacking in confidence, but we can't get too carried away. Let's make sure of a home win. We're more than capable of beating them.

"This period could be our turning point and we've spoken about that and about turning Victoria Park into a fortress like it was not too long ago here.

"The more experienced players here have already spoken about how other teams used to fear coming here. We always used to make it so difficult for visiting teams to take something, even if the team wasn't playing well.

"I'm not one for making excuses, but in three or four games since I've been here - against Stevenage, Preston and Oldham - we should have taken something, if not, we should have won them.

"And this is what we've been working hard at, getting to the stage where we can start to pick up the results that could get us going."

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves Cardiff City by mutual consent

Manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has left Cardiff City by mutual consent after nine months in charge.

Premier League: Burnley boss Sean Dyche happy to stick to underdog status

Burnley boss Sean Dyche accepts that the Clarets will be regarded as underdogs in the Premier League this season.

England move up FIFA world rankings after Switzerland victory

England, Northern Ireland and Wales move up the latest FIFA world rankings after recent wins in European qualifiers.

Mail Box

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property