Hartlepool United should show ‘no fear’ at Pompey, insists boss Moore

Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore

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Hartlepool United are under no pressure when they visit Portsmouth tomorrow, insists Ronnie Moore.

Pompey’s record at Fratton Park is formidable – just one defeat in the league.

The south coast side have only conceded twice in the last six league and up games, while scoring 10 at the other end, six of them coming in a rampant 35-minute spell against York City.

But Moore insists Pools can show “no fear” against the team which is managed by old friend and fellow son of Liverpool, Paul Cook.

“Portsmouth are favourites by a mile, no-one expects us to win,” said Moore. “Sometimes that can be a good thing the pressure is off really.

“We have to go with an attitude to roll the sleeves up, show we are a decent side when everyone knits together, and get the ball down and pass it.

“That’s what we have to do and show no fear.

“I know Cooky really well – you don’t have a lot of friends in football, but I’ve known him throughout his career. He’s a Liverpool lad as well.

“He’s done a good job wherever he’s been.

“He’s not a manager who likes to hoof it, he will look to play from the back, though he will go long if he has to.

“But he’s got a good squad of players and a nice budget!”

Portsmouth are minus Matt Tubbs, who has made it a habit of scoring against Pools, but Cook has an excellent forward line including a combo from both sides of the Sheffield divide – Marc McNulty and Caolan Lavery.

“McNulty is a cracking player and they have Lavery, a Sheffield United and Wednesday combination up there. They are decent,” said Moore.

“They have Michael Doyle in midfield and they are good out wide. They’ll bomb the full-backs on, the wingers will move inside, they are a good side.

“It will be a tough match, but we have to go there and try to enjoy it, it’s about time we started winning games away from home.”