Miller urges Hartlepool to stop gifting goals

Tommy Miller in action against Accrington Stanley. Picture by Frank Reid
Tommy Miller in action against Accrington Stanley. Picture by Frank Reid
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TOMMY Miller says Hartlepool United will continue to lose matches if they keep gifting goals to the opposition.

Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley – the club’s ninth in 14 league matches – has left managerless Pools second-bottom of the Football League.

Experienced former Sunderland midfielder Miller, who is two matches shy of 600 career appearances, has spoken of his frustration after Pools again gave away sloppy goals to slump to another defeat.

He admits the team are not currently doing what they are paid to do and said the side will continue to struggle until they start becoming harder to beat.

John Coleman’s side took the lead in the 19th minute when Shay McCartan was allowed too much time and space to waltz through the Pools defence before guiding the ball past Scott Flinders.

Pools got back in the game through Matthew Bates’s header before Rob Atkinson was allowed a free header from a corner to put Stanley back in front just before half-time. McCartan then added a third in the second-half.

Miller said: “There were some harsh words said at half-time.

“The goals we are conceding are so poor and teams aren’t having to work that hard to score against us.

“It is disappointing and you have to give yourself a chance in football.

“If we continue to give slack goals away you will never have a chance,”

The 35-year-old, who rejoined Pools in the summer, has endured a sorry return so far, with Hartlepool struggling all season.

After Accrington, caretaker boss Sam Collins questioned his side’s lack of mental toughness.

Miller conceded Pools’ lack of form was potentially a psychological problem because they are performing well in training at their Maiden Castle base, in Durham.

Miller said: “It is possibly a mentality thing.

“We have to go out there and perform on the pitch.

“We are paid to do that but we are not doing it at the minute.

“We are training well but it is all well and good training well, there is no pressure then.

“You have to do it when you cross the white line on a match day.

“We are under-performing at the minute and we have to address that.”