RITCHIE HUMPHREYS is confident of a positive Hartlepool United reaction tomorrow.

After their seven-game unbeaten run was meekly ended at Doncaster, Pools have an important game to come when Colchester visit Victoria Park.

The Us are eight points ahead of Pools and need to be beaten.

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But midfielder Humphreys admitted he and his team-mates were disappointed at the manner of defeat in South Yorkshire on Saturday.

"Obviously their second goal comes at a bad time for us and the game becomes a bit more stretched,'' he said.

"We changed it around a bit to how we have been playing. It's very disappointing as the last two months we have been really at it and this time it's a case of how we react to it.

"We can't dwell on it, there's lots of games coming up and we have to gee each other up to go again.

"The pitch was awful. When we came out before the game there was no stud marks in it, it was dead flat and you could tell when you put your boot on it that it would turn up. It was lively and bouncy.

"We couldn't play our usual game on it and had to try and adapt and go down the sides, but we couldn't do it with any quality. We have to learn and go again now.''

He added: "The past seven games have been very enjoyable. We have something in the dressing room, and one defeat won't derail it.

"We will salvage something from this season. Problems before Christmas - it's all been written about, not good enough was it?

"We have put some pride back into the team, maybe not the quality of football at times, but the willingness to run for each other, battle for each other and support each other.

"That's got us results and we will look for it on Tuesday.

He concluded: "We put this game aside now and we won't forget it as we can learn from things, but the result goes to bed. It's a recovery day Sunday, training Monday, game Tuesday.

"We focus on Colchester now. The team has a chance, but we won't get carried away.''