Pools boss John Hughes has admitted that his side have to quickly find the balance between attractive and effective football as they prepare to welcome Portsmouth to Victoria Park this weekend.Hughes is adamant that he will stick to his principles and ask the players to pass the ball and express themselves on the pitch, but he is aware that there is an urgent need to bring to an end the Club record winless run which stretched to 21 games last weekend.
"I'm desperate for that victory and so are all the players," he told us.
"I've said all along I am an expansive manager, I want the team to play attractive, passing football but obviously I know that I have been brought here to win us games.
"As a coach, I need to find something that is staying true to my principles but that is effective in getting us back to winning again to give us the best possible chance of staying in League One.
"We may be low on confidence and lacking a little in belief but I need the kind of character from the players to roll their sleeves up, get out there and think "come on then, let's do this" and hopefully we can get that on Saturday."
Portsmouth arrive at The Vic sitting just inside the division's bottom four but also facing uncertainty over their future after a latest court case was adjourned until the New Year.
Hughes is saddened to see Pompey in such difficult circumstances but knows that it won't make his team's task any easier this weekend.
"This will be a hard game because Portsmouth are down there battling too and a fighting for their lives both on and off the pitch.
"I've always watched a lot of English football and Portsmouth are one of those sides who have been up there with the elite in recent years and had success.
"What always struck me when I watched them was the passion of the fans - there's that guy with the dreadlocks, top hat and bare chest isn't there?
"We have passion in the north east too though, that's one of the reasons that Hartlepool appealed to me, so we have to channel that on Saturday and make sure it drives us on to the result we need."