Boss Moore demands senior players become Hartlepool United’s ‘leaders’ in survival scrap

David Mirfin (right) launches a pass at Dagenham in midweek

David Mirfin (right) launches a pass at Dagenham in midweek

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RONNIE Moore has called on his senior players to stand up and be the leaders his Hartlepool United side are lacking.

The Pools boss was critical of his players following the 2-0 midweek defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, slamming the lacklustre performance.

There is nobody grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck

Ronnie Moore

Ahead of tomorrow’s testing visit of League Two promotion chasers Burton Albion to Victoria Park, Moore wants to see the likes of on-loan Scunthorpe United defender David Mirfin, captain Scott Flinders, Neil Austin and – if selected – Marlon Harewood gee up the rest of the team.

“We are lacking leaders,” admitted Moore.

“That is why we are in the mess we are in, we have been missing that.

“There is nobody grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.

“I can’t do it from the side of the pitch.

“The players have to stick together, they need leaders and people who will shout.

“If somebody is having a bad day don’t accept them not working or doing the right things.

“We have enough experienced players in there who have played at the top level.

“It’s about confidence when it comes to leaders.

“The likes of Mirfin, promoted last year from League Two, Harewood, Flinders, Austin have been about and we needed them to come to the front for us and it never happened.

“They have to be more vocal and if somebody is not giving what they should be, then it needs to come from the players too.”

Speaking at Maiden Castle, Moore was still smarting following the Daggers loss, a game he was convinced his Pools side would win.

But a Scott Harrison own goal and 35-yard world class free kick from Billy Bingham shattered that dream.

Ahead of this week, Moore had set a target of at least seven points from Wimbledon and Burton at home and Dagenham away, the most they can get now is six points.

Reflecting on the defeat, Moore said: “That game was there to be won – six corners we had in the first 15 minutes.

“We need that away win quickly because the pressure at home is immense.

“The situation is stark – we said this was a massive week for us and looking at seven points.

“We ain’t getting that now, but we can get six so that leaves us just one point off the target.

“Burton at home, then two away next – it’s not easy is it!

“Away records have to change sooner or later and if we get the job right tomorrow and win and then it’s down to me and Sam [Collins] to sort a squad out to go away from home and get something.”