MATT Gilks has rubbished the theory that Pool’s final three home games will be easier because their opponents have little to play for.
“That’s because the higher they finish the better it looks. There is also prize money at stake.
Newcastle, Stoke and Bolton come to Bloomfield Road in the next three weeks, and realistically the Seasiders need to win two of those fixtures to stay in the Premier League.
All three clubs are already safe, while Stoke contest the FA Cup final a fortnight after visiting Bloomfield Road.
However, Gilks doesn’t subscribe to the notion that this should make life easier.
The Pool keeper said: “Teams are so professional at this level that they want and need every three points.“I don’t think any of them will be taking their game here lightly.
“Tony Pulis won’t be telling his team to take it easy because they’ve got a cup final coming up. That’s not what he is about.
“We will be expecting tough games, as we do every week.
“We’ve slipped into the bottom three, so every point is now massive and we have to scrap for everything.
“But we believe we have a run of games coming up that we can get points from, and I think going into the bottom three will probably make us more determined, if anything.
“It is like the run-in last season – we just kept winning and getting nearer and nearer.
“I don’t think we panicked then, even though we knew we had to keep winning to get into the play-offs, so I don’t think we should panic about going into the bottom three.
“We just need to take on board what the gaffer is telling us and take that into games.”
Saturday’s defeat by Wigan marked Gilks’ first start since breaking a kneecap at West Ham in November.
“It was brilliant to be back, though the game itself was difficult,” he said.
“It was always going to be because we haven’t won in a while.
“You come back in and try to have an influence on the game and the team, but it didn’t work on Saturday.
“I’ve been fit for a couple of weeks and I was disappointed not to travel to Fulham.
“But hopefully I can now stay in till the end of the season and I’m looking forward to going again against Newcastle.”