We get the thoughts of Pools skipper Peter Hartley in his latest Blog for the Official Website.Hello and welcome to my latest Blog here on the Official Website - it's my first of 2013 so I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope you had fun over Christmas and your celebrations were enjoyable.
We've had mixed fortunes over the festive period on the pitch. I didn't think we were very good at all against Carlisle on Boxing Day but we responded to that by going and beating the league-leaders Sheffield United at Bramall Lane a couple of days later.
I thought we showed a fantastic fighting spirit and will to win during that game and we thoroughly deserved to come away with the three points which gave everyone a boost in the squad.
We went in to Preston on New Year's Day with confidence and I felt like we could have been a couple of goals up at half time because we were the better side in the opening period. However, we got done with a sucker punch right at the break and after that you know that Preston are going to come out in the second half and make it really difficult for you and that proved to be the case.
It's pretty much been the story of our season so far that we have performed quite well at times in games but not been able to score the goals at the right times and then not been able to keep the clean sheet either.
We really need to try and keep ourselves in games longer and not be as easy to beat in 2013 - the days when we ship a few goals have got to stop and we have to be much tighter in games.
There were aspects of the Preston game that we can build on certainly and we need to do that when we return to action at Shrewsbury next weekend - hopefully if we can get that consistency of performance then results will start coming more regularly.
We've done some hard work in training already this week even though we have no game, and we've also been told that we're training on Saturday with some players also involved in a practice match.
I don't think anyone can have any complaints about being in over the weekend - to be honest, I'm enjoying the training we're doing at the moment, every session is really interesting and I'm more than happy to train every day if needed.
It's a New Year now though and we all need to make sure we make that our new start and stay really positive for the battle that lies ahead. I know that you all feel frustration at the way the season has gone - trust me, I know exactly how you are feeling because I'm from the town and am a Hartlepool United supporter too.
What I will say is though, that we do all need to stick together and make sure that Victoria Park remains as positive a place to play as possible because you really can make a difference for us and be our extra man on a Saturday. We really appreciate the support you have given us this term and I can guarantee you that we are working as hard as we can to repay that so please stick with us.
We have 21 games left and that gives us a lot of points to play for - I absolutely believe we can get enough to get out of the situation we're in at the moment. There's no reason why we can't and we have to keep going and fighting. There'll be nobody giving up on this, I can promise you that.
I always try to be positive in everything I do in life, on and off the football pitch - I think that's the best way to be. If you're down and getting hit then the only thing to do is to keep getting back up - that's the way I look at things. We'll keep going and we'll keep trying to find ways to win every single game we go in to between now and the end of the season.
We have around twelve days between games right now so we have the time to recover, refresh, clear our heads and be 100% prepared for Shrewsbury next week and we'll go and give it our all.
Thanks for your ongoing support,