DJ Campbell believes Pool should be getting plaudits for their league position and not criticism.
Had he been told at the start of the season that the Seasiders would be a point from safety with five games to go, the frontman says he and his team-mates would gladly have taken it.
Campbell said: “We’ve not been getting results of late and the Wigan game was really disappointing, but we are not going to fool ourselves – from day one our position was to stay in the league and that has been the case all season.
The striker, who provided the one bright spot in Saturday’s home defeat by Wigan when he bagged his tenth top-flight goal of the season, added: “Even when we were eighth at the end of last year, we weren’t silly about it – we knew we were always in a relegation battle.
“The Premier League is the best in the world and we are playing against great players every week. You have to admire what the gaffer has done and what the players have done. We are on nowhere near the money guys from other teams are and we haven’t really signed anyone.
“It is near enough the same team as last season, so we’ve got to give ourselves a pat on the back for what we’ve achieved so far. To have the number of points we have and to have given ourselves a chance to stay in this league is great.
“Now things are going badly, we need to stand up and be counted. And I’m talking about everybody – the players, manager, staff and the fans. “We all need to stick together and be counted as one, then hopefully we can get out of this mess.”
n POOL Reserves take on Everton at Bloomfield Road tomorrow (2pm). The Seasiders are expected to field a strong team, with Ludovic Sylvestre, Chris Basham and Billy Clarke in line to start.