Manager John Hughes believes Hartlepool are finding the right mentality to complete the great escape from relegation.

Pools stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a 2-1 victory at fellow strugglers Scunthorpe, after two first-half goals in 17 minutes from James Poole and Jonathan Franks put them in command.

"We are now beginning to play some of the football we know we have been capable of," said Hughes. "And I think there is still more to come from us if we can continue to play with this sort of energy.

"We are not going to get carried away with what we have achieved in the last few games, we are going to keep our feet firmly on the ground. Our approach has got to be to try and keep this unbeaten run going now for as long as we can.

"Our supporters are magnificent and you can see that they are starting to believe now. They have got some pride back in the club - and that is all down to the players, they have been magnificent."

Scunthorpe gave a debut up front to new loan signing James Alabi from Stoke. Nine minutes after coming on as a substitute he made a real impact, heading them back into the game from a left-wing cross from Tom Newey.

But it was too little, too late to save the Iron from an eighth home defeat of the season. For manager Brian Laws, it was a big setback after three successive home wins.

"Yes, we really wanted to keep the momentum going that we had been building at home," said Laws. "This result is a setback for us but it just shows how difficult it is to win games in this division. Everyone is battling for points whether they are near the top of the table or the bottom.

"It is going to be a real fight now right until the end of the season. The most disappointing thing for me from this result is that we did not win enough individual battles out there on the pitch.

"The turning point was the first goal, a poor one for us to give away. We panicked a little bit after that and did not do enough to turn things round. I have to confess that some of our play was poor, we lacked quality to get behind them."