Colin Cooper says Hartlepool United must start turning draws into wins, if they are to challenge for promotion.
The Victoria Park outfit are 14th in League Two, seven points off a play-off position.
They have drawn their last three league games, culminating in Saturday’s 1-1 stalemate against Burton Albion.
They travel to top-of-the-table Chesterfield today, but Cooper insists his side are far from daunted by the prospect, and can come away with victory. “It won’t be easy,” he said.
“They’re the ones people will have expected to succeed this season. They spent a bit of money in the summer, got some good players in.
“You have to back that up with results and they have. Paul (Cook, the Spireites’ manager) will be delighted to be top of the tree after a little stutter, and to be at home on Boxing Day.
“It’ll be very difficult for us but we have the ability to give them a game. We have to put ourselves in a position where we don’t lose the game, then look to try to win. We have to be solid, disciplined and compact, then look to create some chances and take them.
“I believe we can create chances against anyone in this league, we’ve proven that this season time and again. We just need to push on now and start turning draws into wins.”
Cooper added: “I couldn’t fault the lads’ effort and application on Saturday, it’s another game we could have won but didn’t, but I can’t be too frustrated at that.
“We have said to the lads that if we could even have just turned two or three of our draws into wins, we could be very nicely placed for the play-offs. But at the same time, those draws could easily have been defeats, so we have to be careful not to get too downhearted.
“We want improvement, we want to be better. We just have to be patient. Our home form is good, we haven’t lost (in the league) since September.
“If we want to push on we have to build on that.
“We have to keep that home record intact and then match it up away from home.
“The lads are capable, they’ve got a great attitude and want to improve, and climb the table.
“We just need a couple of victories to get the ball rolling.”