Moore – Hartlepool United need a Big Sam to lead from front

(left to right) Ronnie Moore, Peter Harris and Sam Collins. Picture by FRANK REID
(left to right) Ronnie Moore, Peter Harris and Sam Collins. Picture by FRANK REID
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RONNIE Moore knows just what is needed to help turn around Hartlepool United’s season – an experienced defender in the mould of Sam Collins, writes Richard Mennear.

Sadly, the 37-year-old will be alongside the new manager in the dug-out as his assistant rather than marshalling the defence on the pitch.

It remains to be seen how much of a playing role Collins will have as he continues his climb up the coaching ladder.

Moore, who has more than 900 games as a manager under his belt, is no mug and he has quickly realised what Pools are lacking – leaders at the back especially.

He admitted when he brought his Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United teams to Victoria Park he used to urge them to keep the ball away from Big Sam.

Now he needs to find somebody of his ilk to steady the ship, with Pools facing a goal difference of -24.

Moore, 61, told SportMail: “I used to tell my teams to keep the ball away from the lad with the big head at the back – Big Sam – but every time we played here we used to hit him!

“That is what we need now – someone with heart, desire, commitment and leadership.

“There is not enough experience.

“For me, the first thing we need is an experienced centre back but it is difficult. If you try and bring one in they will be asking why do I want to go there?

“The hard part is convincing the player to come here and be the boss, that is my job.

“There are one or two names down and I have one or two agents that I know quite well. That will start in earnest, trying to arrange that so when the window opens we can make a move.”

Moore has also highlighted the team’s lack of pace in the forward positions as an area that needs to be improved adding: “It would be nice to have somebody with the silky skills but we need some pace as well - there is no outball for us.”

Moore, alongside Collins, took his first training session with the players at Maiden Castle, in Durham, yesterday afternoon and he is looking forward to working with the club veteran.

Moore added: “Hopefully Sam will do well for me. The lads know him and it is nice for him to be involved, rather than just bring somebody else in straight away.

“We’ll see how things go.”