Hartlepool United boss urges defenders to stand firm at Wycombe

Hartlepool's ex-Sunderland defender Scott Harrison (left) in action against Sheffield United in midweek
Hartlepool's ex-Sunderland defender Scott Harrison (left) in action against Sheffield United in midweek
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Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore says his players must get it right at Wycombe tomorrow – at both ends of the pitch.

Pools have created chances in every game this season, but opportunities at Adams Park could be at a premium.

Wycombe are not only unbeaten - they have conceded only once in League Two this season. Moore knows chances will need to be taken, but insists Pools must be strong at the back before thinking about anything else.

“It’s about getting the basics right,” said Moore. “I don’t want the centre-backs to be Bobby Moore, I want them to head it, be physical, let the forward know you’re there.

“I think we will score goals, but I thought we’d cleared up the ones we used to concede.

“We had three clean sheets in the first four matches and we thought ‘here we go, we’ve cracked it’.

“But we’ve gone back a little bit to how we were last season. If you don’t keep clean sheets, you don’t win games. It’s all about winning that first ball.

“We need our two centre-backs to be dominant in those areas because a lot of teams at our level play percentage football.

“Teams hoof it, get the ball over the top, make the defender kick it out and then bring all the giants up for the throw-in. If we can’t cope with that then we are going to struggle this season because there are a lot of big teams in this division.”

 Midfielder Carl Magnay will deputise at right-back for hamstring victim Michael Duckworth. Moore now faces a decision on who will play in midfield alongside Nicky Featherstone, but what formation they will operate.