Festive call-off a ‘blessing in disguise’, says Pools boss

Pools boss Ronnie Moore
Pools boss Ronnie Moore
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Ronnie Moore believes the postponement of the festive away game could be a “blessing in disguise” for Hartlepool United.

Pools had been due to visit Carlisle United on Monday, December 28 – just 48 hours after hosting Notts County on Boxing Day.

But the flood-decimated Cumbrians applied to the Football League for a postponement as they fix up Brunton Park.

Pools will now go to the Warwick Road ground on Tuesday, February 23.

While Moore admits a hectic programme over the Christmas and New Year period is a tradition he likes, he says the break will be a major benefit.

It gives his squad an extra couple of days breather ahead of a vital bottom of the table trip to resurgent Newport County on Saturday, January 2.

But it also affords the manager and assistant boss, Sam Collins, the opportunity to get out and watch a match on that Bank Holiday Monday.

“It’s fortunate for us in a way,” said Moore.

“We want to bring new blood in during the January transfer window so it gives me, Sam and the scouting lads the chance to go and watch other games.

“It’s a blessing in disguise because there are one or two players I need to see.

“I’ll get that opportunity now.”

The Pools boss is facing a crucial time.

Moore has four loan players at the Vic at the moment and all four deals run out after Pools’ visit to Newport on the first Saturday of 2016.

Three have been automatic starters, centre-half Adam Jackson and midfielders Jake Gray and Kal Naismith, while striker Mikael Mandron is a regular in the match-day 18.

It would be a surprise if Moore did not try to extend their stays.

The parent clubs of Jackson, Gray and Mandron are all happy that their young prospects are getting senior experience though whether Portsmouth will allow Naismith back out on loan is questionable.

The manager will also try to strengthen the squad with some permanent deals, especially in the forward areas with Pools lacking on the goal front.

Pools are the division’s lowest scorers, again, finding the opposition net just 19 times.

A third of the goals have been down to Billy Paynter and with the skipper out until February with Achilles trouble a marksman is badly needed.

“We’re looking to bring people in January to better us,” said Moore.