Carlisle manager Greg Abbott hailed his side's 3-0 home win over npower League One strugglers Hartlepool as the best result in his time at the club.

Recent poor home form has seen Carlisle plummeting towards the relegation places, but a much-improved display helped ease some of the pressure on under-fire Abbott.

Abbott said: "The dressing room has stuck together and worked hard in situations that have been difficult to deal with and that's a great result. We owed the fans and it was a bit of pay back to those fans."

He added: "The result was paramount. Defeat would have ruined everything we have done here in the last four years. This league is unforgiving and we don't take anything for granted."

An own goal by Collins and Matty Robson's effort gave Carlisle an interval lead and Lee Miller added the third to give Carlisle just their third home win of the season and leave Hughes still seeking his first victory since he took charge in mid-November.

Former Hartlepool winger Robson was instrumental in Carlisle taking a 20th-minute lead. His left-footed shot from 25 yards struck defender Collins on the back and completely deceived goalkeeper Scott Flinders as it flew in just inside the post.

Robson made it 2-0 to the Cumbrians in the 27th minute with a simple finish from inside the six-yard box, while his run and cross enabled Miller to nod home his first goal of the season at the far post for Carlisle's third goal in the 74th minute.

Hartlepool manager John Hughes admitted his team need the fighting spirit that helped Europe's golfers win the Ryder Cup in America unless they are to remain anchored at the foot of the table.

He said: "Ian Poulter led from the front and that is what we have got to do. Who is going to be our Ian Poulter and inspire us because that's what we have got to do. We are fragile and low on confidence. Eighty per cent of this game is up top. It's that mental side we have to make sure we get right.

"You can't legislate for the first two goals we conceded. There was desire and belief in the second half, but we could not get that goal to turn the game on its head. Big Sam (Collins) was unlucky with the first goal, but that's the luck we are carrying at the moment."