Manager Keith Curle spoke about how much a calm approach is needed as United head into the final few weeks of the campaign with everything still to play for.
“It’s a nervy stage of the season and wins don’t come easy when everyone is battling for points,” he said. “This is when it needs a calm approach and for everyone to keep their belief in what it is we’re trying to do.
“There are a lot of disappointed players inside that dressing room and I know we have a lot of disappointed supporters who came on Saturday with good expectations of what they were going to see.”
“Nerves play a big part in why the goals are being conceded in the way they are at the moment,” he explained. “We’re playing for high stakes and promotion has been talked about a lot, and rightly so, because that’s what we would all like to achieve. We’re in touching distance and it’s still in our hands.
“Overall on Saturday there was a competitive edge to our approach but we didn’t use the ball well enough and there were too many misplaced passes. That’s a sign of the tension they’re feeling because these players know they’re not only playing for their own futures, it’s the future of the football club and everyone connected with it. The more success we get the better the environment we all have to work in, and that’s what we want.
“We know that the fans are as anxious as we are. They know what’s at stake as well as we do and they also want to see the season end on a high. We gave them a taste of what we want to be about as a football club through the first half of the season and we haven’t maintained that for a variety of reasons.
“I don’t think any player who puts a shirt on at Hartlepool on Friday will need any motivation at all. There’ll be no quarter given by them because they’re fighting for their lives at the other end of the table. It will be a typical local derby at this stage of the season where there’s a lot at stake.
“We’ll have a massive and very vocal following and this is where we need to see the unity we’ve spoken about really start to develop. The players have got to turn up to warrant that, because I know the fans will more than play their part."