PUMPED-UP Ronnie Moore has a simple message to his players ahead of the crunch match at Tranmere Rovers: Show no fear.
The season may be six months old but with Pools languishing at the foot of Sky Bet League Two there is a case for stating it has never really got started for the club.
Moore, ahead of his return to Prenton Park, says tomorrow’s relegation ‘12-pointer’ is the perfect opportunity to kick-start their survival bid.
But he knows it will be far from easy against Micky Adams’ side, who are only two places but nine points above Pools.
Moore said: “There’s a lot riding on this, we would have liked to be closer but I’ve said let’s go and show no fear.
“There will be a great atmosphere, one to enjoy and if that’s not the case then they shouldn’t be playing.
“The season has to start somewhere, let’s make it this weekend.
“Let’s see how many we can go unbeaten, how many clean sheets we can keep because at this moment we don’t look like we can keep one.
“It was self-destruct a bit last time out against Shrewsbury with individual errors and that’s why we are in this situation.
“The three new lads have made us better and I can see an improvement and how certain aspects of the game are better.
“But I thought we had mastered the defensive part, then it showed last week that when we concede we collapse like a pack of cards.
“There’s no leader in there to organise and keep it tight.
“Go one down and there’s still time to get back and not to panic.
“Keep your shape, that’s the message.”
The pressure mounts with every passing game and Moore believes people will look at the league fixtures this weekend and back Rovers to beat Pools.
Despite Rovers being the home team, Moore believes there isn’t any pressure on Adams’ side, given they have the nine-point cushion. Moore added: “People expect them to beat us but I think they are in a position that if they lose it doesn’t really matter as they have points to play with.
“Defeat would close the gap but they aren’t under any pressure at all.
“They can go and enjoy it but we can too.”
Moore believes bringing in Adams was a masterstroke by his former club and he confirmed he had tried to sign Scunthorpe United winger Jennison Myrie-Williams, before Adams added him to his squad this week.
Moore, who used to play alongside Tranmere chairman Mark Palios, added: “Micky Adams is someone I know well – getting him in there was the right decision.
“It should have been done earlier really, a bit like here.
“He’s had the time to get it right but he knows the game inside out and he likes to entertain and play.
“This won’t be a physical one, Tranmere will try and play and get it down and he’s got a lot of new players in.
“I tried to get hold of Jennison Myrie-Williams a few weeks ago when I spoke to Mark Robins but he’s on decent money.
“If they are going to pay what I was quoted then they have done well!
“Last time Hartlepool were there, Tranmere lost 1-0 and Luke James ran us ragged – he was fantastic, maybe it’s a lucky ground for us.
“The same result will certainly do!”