Head coach Neale Cooper admits he is "hurting" at Hartlepool United's disappointing form so far this season.
Pools are on a run of eight games without a win and currently languish second-bottom in the League One table.
"I'm a winning person and a happy type of person but I can't be at the moment," Cooper told BBC Look North.
"At the moment I'm in a hard place, I've got to be as jovial as I can be but we've got to work really hard to get out of this position."
He added: "We're all focused in trying to get out of this and to do that we've got to keep working hard and get a bit of luck."
six-and-a-half years after his previous spell.
The memories of a successful side bidding for the play-offs before his exit in 2005 ensured a warm welcome from supporters, but this season's slide down the table has been hard to take for all parties.
"Unfortunately it's results based and the guy who is at the head is the one in charge," Cooper added.
"It's not good enough at the moment, it has to get better but I believe in the players to get us out of this."