STEVE Thompson has called for the backing of Pool’s supporters ahead of tonight’s FA Cup replay with Fulham at Bloomfield Road (8pm).
After Pool held the Premier League side 1-1 in London 10 days ago, tonight’s match will decide who visits Manchester United or West Ham in a televised fourth-round tie on Saturday week.
Caretaker boss Thompson will again be in charge tonight and realises many Pool fans are down in the dumps after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Charlton.
But Thompson hopes the supporters will stand up and be counted this evening.
He said: “We need to get the fans behind us tonight and get the place bouncing.
“What we have to do is turn all the negative feelings around the place into positive ones.
“We’ve had good times here and this is a little bit of a bad spell, but now we need big characters to stand up and be counted.
“Looking at the opposition tonight, I shouldn’t need to give a team talk.”
Thompson revealed he held a clear-the-air meeting with the squad following Saturday’s defeat.
He explained: “We don’t want to be using excuses. I’ve told everyone in the team what I expect of them.
“It’s not ideal or normal to lose two managers in two months. But we have to show, like we always do at Blackpool, that we have big characters here.
“The manager going didn’t help, but if we can get a decent result tonight and another win against Cardiff on Saturday, we’ll give ourselves a real chance.”
With Appleton’s departure only being confirmed late on Friday night, Pool’s temporary management team had little time to stamp their style on the squad before the Addicks game.
But after two days on the training ground, Thompson feels he’s been able to make positive changes, and he even hinted at a different formation tonight.
“I’m looking forward to seeing us play with a bit of a different formation I have planned.
“I’m going to change some personnel for tonight and I want the lads to go out there and give it 100 per cent. We’ve watched the DVD from the game on Saturday and worked on areas where we didn’t quite flow. It was pretty football, with no real end product.
“We’ve looked at the statistics and there weren’t enough entries into the final third.
“Our wide men didn’t get enough crosses in and we didn’t get enough people into the box.
“We worked on that on Monday and worked on looking like scoring goals again.
“The distances between the midfield three and the strikers were too big. It’s a massive game tonight.”