If players can’t take criticism they can go says no-nonsense Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore

SUBBED: Ronnie Moore and Marlon Harewood
SUBBED: Ronnie Moore and Marlon Harewood
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RONNIE Moore is happy to adopt a tough love approach with his misfiring Hartlepool United strikers – insisting they can either like it or lump it.

Marlon Harewood was hauled off at half-time in the defeat to Stevenage and Moore admitted he would have replaced Marvin Morgan too if he had and options on the bench.

The Pools boss insists he won’t hold back in his honest post-match assessments, which has at least sparked a reaction from the duo in training at Maiden Castle this week.

Moore told SportMail: “I’ve seen a reaction in training from the strikers.

“Both disagreed with what I said but we sat down [yesterday] and watched the DVD and it doesn’t lie.

“I could have changed both of them if I had the options. I know they weren’t happy with one or two things I’ve said in the press but I’m honest and I’m not going to lie.

“A lot of managers don’t like to talk openly about things but it’s my way and if they don’t like it then they can go. If they aren’t performing it needs to be said and not brushed under the carpet.

“There are one or two things said in the dressing room which I wouldn’t say publicly but I can’t fight their corner if they aren’t performing or playing particularly well.”

Moore, whose side were at Bury today, travelled the length and breadth of the country to see Morgan play in a Plymouth Argyle reserve fixture before deciding to take the plunge and bring him to the Vic on loan until the end of the season.

But Moore admits the 31-year-old striker hasn’t pulled up too many trees since arriving, despite scoring the winner in the 1-0 victory over Northampton Town.

Moore added: “I went a long, long way to watch Morgan play for Plymouth reserves and if anyone had come with me then they would have said ‘sign him up for three years – get him’. That’s how well he played.

“Since he came in, he’s not reproduced that.

“He’s scored but he’s never going to be an aerial threat, he is more about link up and playing people in.

“I thought Harewood was fantastic against Northampton in his hold up play and bringing players in, his link-up play with Jack Compton was there to be seen.

“But people remember how many opportunities he had.

“Sometimes he doesn’t help himself and it looks like he’s not trying – that’s not the case as players do try.

“It didn’t work out for him.

“But the goal threat at the moment is down to one man and we need more than that.”