Boss Ronnie Moore seeks middle man to fire up Hartlepool United

Rhys Oates lines up a shot for Hartlepool United in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Crawley
Rhys Oates lines up a shot for Hartlepool United in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Crawley
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Ronnie Moore will look to bring in a new central midfielder as he looks to “fire up” his stuttering Hartlepool United squad.

Pools went into last week looking for a maximum haul of nine points from League Two games against three sides below them.

But Moore instead had to make do with just four following Saturday’s desperately poor 2-1 home defeat to Crawley Town, who have now climbed above Pools.

Pools, down to 19th place, produced a dismal first-half showing, with Brad Walker and Jake Carroll swiftly removed from the action at half-time.

Moore revealed afterwards that 19-year-old Walker had been removed for his own good, with Moore concerned his poor performance would worsen after the break.

With Carl Magnay still serving a ban for spitting, Moore will look elsewhere to add some much-needed bite and leadership into central midfield.

“I come in every week saying we need this and that – a centre-forward, a centre-half, a right-back, a winger,” said Moore.

“It shows we are not firing on all cylinders.

“But we definitely need some new blood to brighten us up in the heart of the team, to fire us up. We have no fire in there, as far as I am concerned.

“We need to address that sharpish.”

Only Rhys Oates and ex-Sunderland keeper Trevor Carson were gifted any praise by an upset Moore.

Moore, who saw former Sunderland reserve-team centre-back Scott Harrison sent off, added: “Even though we were a disgrace as a football team in the first-half we got away with it.

“Strong words were said at half-time, but the players knew.

“They weren’t said in a screaming or shouting way.

“But the players knew they had been a disgrace in the way they had performed and they were very lucky to get away with it first-half, they knew that.

“Trevor has made too many saves for the home keeper.”

l Meanwhile, the draw for the first round of the FA Cup will take place tonight, screened live on BBC2 at 7pm.

Pools will be represented by ball number 22.

When asked if Moore fancied a home or away tie, the ex-Tranmere Rovers boss said: “I can tell you the draw now, we’ll probably get Tranmere away, knowing my luck!”

Hartlepool: Carson, Hendrie, Harrison, Okuonghae, Jones (Duckworth 61), Oates, Featherstone, Walker (Woods 46), Carroll (Banton 46), Paynter, Bingham. Subs not used: Bates, Oyenuga, Bartlett, Fenwick. Sent Off: Harrison (65). Booked: Woods. Goal: Paynter 80.

Crawley Town: Flahavan, Young, Yorwerth, Bradley, Hancox, Fenelon (Scales 67), Walton (Jenkins 85), Smith, Edwards, Harrold, Murphy (Deacon 88). Subs not used: Barnard, Rooney, Preston, Ashton. Booked: Harrold, Murphy. Goals: Walton 66 pen, Murphy 76.

Att: 3,262. Ref: Mark Heywood (Cheshire)