Hartlepool United could train on Christmas Day - Hughes

Hughes defiant over Pools survival

Hartlepool first-team coach John Hughes has said he will consider training on Christmas Day for the benefit of the Boxing Day trip to Carlisle United.

Pools, who take on Portsmouth this weekend, remain 13 points from safety and are desperate for a good result over the festive period.

"It's a family time but we have a job to do," Hughes told BBC Look North.

"We get six to eight weeks off in the summer, so if it means coming in on Christmas Day that's what we'll do."

Hughes has overseen an improvement in performances since his arrival at Victoria Park last month, although the club are still chasing a first win since September - a run of 21 matches without success.

However Pompey's own troubles on and off the field have seen them slide into the relegation zone, with nine games since their last success.

"I don't want to hit the players with a big stick, I don't want to turn it into a punishment," Hughes added.

"I just want us to be professional and I might use it as a tool - if we get results they might get a reward of Christmas Day off."