ASSISTANT Callum Brooks stressed the need for Poole Town to learn quickly or find themselves “deeper in trouble”.

Dolphins missed the opportunity to climb out of the bottom three in National South on Boxing Day, with boss Tom Killick admitting his charges “downed tools” in their 3-0 loss to Truro City.

With Poole facing the return fixture against the White Tigers

at Treyew Road tomorrow (3pm), Brooks is expecting to see a vast improvement in desire from his troops.

He told the Daily Echo: “The reality is the players need to learn a lot. Unless we learn from Boxing Day and improve quickly, we are going to find it hard to get out of the situation we are in.

“If we don’t do better, we are going to find ourselves deeper and deeper in trouble.

“The absolute minimum the players have to do when they get on that coach is be prepared to fight for the cause.

“They have to match Truro for physicality, work-rate and desire. That is just the base of things.

“They have to show they want to roll their sleeves up and fight for the club. That is what we are asking them.”

He added: “Tom has made it clear what is needed and this gives the players an opportunity to go out there and put the previous performance to bed. I would back the group to do that.

“Tom is a top manager and there is nobody better to lift the group and get us out of the trouble we find ourselves in.

“The lads are playing for him, I am working for him so we just want to get it turned around.

“Truro have a little bit of positive momentum and a lot of belief in their camp but we have identified some areas in which we can get at them.

“We can go there and get a good result and we have to believe that.”

Poole are set to welcome back experienced frontman Richard Gillespie from a three-match suspension.

And Brooks believes the former Bashley and AFC Totton striker can provide a much-needed impetus.

“Gillie will be back in. He is in good shape and is raring to go,” the Dolphins coach added.

“He has that little bit of nous which could make the difference in tight games.

“He has not been available too much within the past couple of years but, when he is firing, I don’t think there are many better finishers around.

“We can’t just go and get players in to get us out of this situation but having Gillie back and playing a run of games will be like a fresh signing anyway.”

Marvin Brooks remains out through suspension for Poole, who could move out of the drop-zone should they record victory in Cornwall.

Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Lindsay, Moore, Leslie-Smith, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Bedford, Grange, Devlin, Bentley, Gyebi, Balmer, Harfield, Rees, Neale, Gillespie.