Christmas Day on the training field for Hartlepool United

FOCUSED: New Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore. Picture by FRANK REID

FOCUSED: New Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore. Picture by FRANK REID

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HARTLEPOOL United’s squad will be spending Christmas Day on the training ground as they look to build on the point against Oxford United.

Ronnie Moore says the team will be training as usual at the club’s Maiden Castle base in Durham ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Mansfield Town.

The squad, who then face Morecambe at home two days later, were given Sunday off as a reward for their effort since Moore came in as manager.

But the festive spirit ended there with the players due in training on Monday as normal.

Pools are seven points adrift at the bottom of the Football League but go to 17th-placed Mansfield looking to build on the point against the U’s which stopped a five-match losing streak.

They will be backed by more than 300 travelling Pools supporters against the Stags, who won 1-0 away at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Moore told SportMail: “The players were off Sunday and they had earned that for their effort and commitment in my first few days in charge.

“But apart from that they are in every day, including Christmas.

“Next we go to Mansfield who had a good win at the weekend.

“We are aiming to get through the next two games and then look at January,” added Moore who is looking to bolster his squad in the next transfer window.

The former Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United chief is enjoying being back in the game after an eight-month spell out following his sacking at Rovers earlier this year.

Moore has made a big impression since he was announced on the same day new owners TMH 2014 took over from IOR and he admits he is revelling being back in the dugout.

He was also impressed with the reaction from the Pools players in his first game in charge at the club.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” said Moore.

“The most pleasing thing on Saturday was when the whistle went because it meant I was back in the dug out again.

“Forget that horrible feeling beforehand, this job is fantastic Monday to Friday – it’s just the Saturday that gets in the way!

“The reaction has been good though and the players surprised me.

“Hand on heart when I took the first session last Wednesday we had a full 11 v 11 game and I went home and actually slept well.

“I was thinking it wasn’t bad that.

“Then on Thursday it was the same again and I couldn’t sleep that night – it was that bad.

“That’s why they are in this position, bottom of the league,” added Moore who is looking for his Pools side to close the gap to safety at Mansfield.

* POOLS fans are being reminded that the Boxing Day match at Mansfield Town has been made all-ticket.

The club has received an initial allocation of 400 tickets, 300 of which have already been sold.

There will be no tickets available on the day of the game.

Tickets will remain available from The Vic until 2pm today, Tuesday December 23.

Adult tickets are £20, over 60s £15, students £15, juniors (7-17) £10 and under 6s are free. Disabled (no carer) £15.