ANDY AWFORD believes the confidence is returning to winless Pompey.
And the Blues boss has challenged his team to maintain their conviction the tide is turning against Hartlepool.
The pressure is on to end the barren run against bottom-of-the-table Pools at Fratton Park tomorrow.
It’s now nine games without a win with Pompey two points outside of the bottom two going into the clash.
But recent performances, including last weekend’s draw at high-flying Wycombe, have given the players renewed belief.
Awford said: ‘I can see the confidence is coming back in them, I can see that.
‘If we can recreate that, we will score goals, that’s a fact.’
‘Hartlepool are Hartlepool.
‘They have picked up recently but they are bottom of the league.
‘It won’t be easy but it’s about us going out and getting a result, without a shadow of a doubt.’
Awford feels the challenge for his players is to hold firm in the view they are doing the right things at present, as the wait for three points goes on.
He said: ‘I’ve spoken to the players about not changing.
‘Apart from 45 minutes against Southend, we’ve played very well in the past five games.
‘The performances have been good lately but now we have to stay at that level.
‘That’s when it will turn for us.
‘This is a massive game for us because we need it to turn for us and a win will reignite the season.
‘We need to kick-start the season.
‘The message is they are doing the right things so keep believing, keep going, be united and stay together.’