Ronnie Moore insists it’s time Hartlepool United’s players stepped up to the plate.
To say Pools have been up and down over recent weeks would be an under-statement – fluctuating from great home displays against Leyton Orient and Oxford to poor efforts at Mansfield and Salford City.
The second 45 minutes at Field Mill and the first half at Moor Lane have been arguably the worst showings of the season and Moore said views were exchanged in the dressing room after Friday’s 1-1 FA Cup draw.
Only Rhys Oates and Trevor Carson were absolved by Moore in the first half.
“There were one or two strong words, not just from me, but the players having a go at each other,” said Moore.
“I like that. Sometimes I get fed up that it’s just me and Sam [Collins] screaming at them. For the players to do it, that’s great for me because it’s grow up time.
“If they don’t want it, then they shouldn’t be here and they won’t be for much longer.”
Pools, thankfully, did improve as the match wore on and probably should have edged the tie though, given the paucity of their first hal football, there were no complaints the tie is going to a replay a week tomorrow.
“It’s hard to understand why we played like we did in the first half,” said Moore.
“It’s a job for the psychologists, the players talked the talk but it’s about getting out and doing it.”
Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick were guilty of two terrible misses in the second half, when it looked easier to score, while keeper Jay Lynch twice denied Jake Gray.
Moore believes Bingham, who looked lively as a sub for the struggling Mikael Mandron, would have scored if he’d had a goal or two under his belt.
“Bingham came on and was bright at times,” said the manager.
“I wish he’d have scored, it would have been great for his confidence.
“If he had 10 goals to his name this season so far, he would score.
“He’s just finding it a bit difficult at this present time.”
And Moore says if goals are not forthcoming in open-play the side must work even harder on translating set-pieces into scoring chances.
“If you can’t score you are not going to win too many games,” he shrugged.
“But we’ve had good opportunities from our set-plays.
“I’ve said it before that if we are not scoring from open play that’s the time to work harder on trying to get something from set-pieces.
“We did on Friday night from Jake Gray’s free-kick when Bings has missed with his header.”