English League One

Hughes bullish on survival hopes

Friday 18th January 2013 13:07

Hughes: Surprisingly confident

Hughes: Surprisingly confident

Hartlepool manager John Hughes rates his side's chances of escaping relegation from League One this season at 50/50.

The 48-year-old former Hibernian and Livingston boss took charge at Victoria Park in November with the club rooted to the bottom of the table.

Pools are 12 points adrift of safety with 20 games remaining and although Hughes has won only one of his nine games in charges he claims he has seen enough improvement to suggest they still have a fighting chance of survival.

"I think our chances of staying up are 50/50," Hughes said. "There's enough games left and we're more than capable of going on a run and this is what we've been working towards.

"The signs are that we're getting there. We're much harder to beat and difficult to play against. Sometimes our football isn't pretty, but in this situation you have to play to your strengths and the team has been showing more consistency.

"I'd like to think we'll get a bit more luck than we have been doing because there have been games we have lost when really we should have got something.

"We've got some experienced players here who have been there before and they know what it takes - a lot of character. There are signs, but we've got to get going now.

"Time will tell and sometimes you've got to take a step back to go forward, but this fight is certainly not over.

"We're getting more consistency, the performances have not been bad and if it's not always been good football, we've been much more resolute."