RONNIE Moore is set to carry out major surgery on his Hartlepool United squad, with three new players set to arrive and several leaving.
The Pools boss, gutted by an inept display at home to Morecambe yesterday, aims to bring in five in total and three before next weekend’s League Two trip to promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers, while he has also revealed several players could have played their last match.
The loan deals for Cambridge United defender Matteo Lanzoni and Sheffield United striker Joe Ironside both ran out after yesterday’s defeat, which left Pools eight points adrift of safety.
It will depend on which players Moore can bring in as to whether Ironside leaves but the Italian defender, who was an unused sub against Morecambe, is likely to have played his last game.
Meanwhile, the futures of midfielders Nicky Featherstone and Sidney Schmeltz are also up in the air, with their short-term contracts coming to an end.
Sunderland defender Scott Harrison is likely to be the first arrival, while Moore also wants to bring in an experienced centre-half.
“We are desperate for new faces,” said Moore. “We have made an awful lot of phone calls and now everybody is evaluating the situation at the respective clubs.
“It is a matter of following up phone calls.”
Moore has blasted his players for a “gutless” performance against Morecambe.
Pools were undone by a double from Shrimps forward Jack Redshaw at Victoria Park as they fell to their 15th league defeat of the season.
Defeat leaves Pools eight points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Football League and the result and performance left Moore fuming.
He was unhappy with his side’s lack of fight and desire during the 90 minutes against Jim Bentley’s Morecambe, who dropped a place to 12th despite the win.
Moore deemed the display “unacceptable” adding that if they were in a ‘normal job’ they’d be sacked.
“It was gutless,” said the Pools boss. “You can see why we are where we are.
“Except for young Dan Jones at the back that is as bad a performance – especially at home in front of 4,000 plus people – that I have seen.
“We are bottom of the league yet where is the desire and commitment to chase and harry?
“Every game we have come off and I have said the same thing about who wants to be winners?
“I can’t blame the crowd for having a go at the players, if I’d paid my money to watch that!
“The worst thing that annoys me is the lack of desire. It is the first time I have looked at them and thought no wonder we are where we are.”
Moore added: “I am the manager of this football club and I can’t have that.
“I was gutted in the dressing room but I didn’t see the same response from the players.
“Nobody points the finger, they are waiting for me and (assistant) Sam Collins to have a go at them.
“It’s unacceptable and if they were in a normal job they’d get sacked.”
Morecambe took the lead in the 22nd minute. Referee Darren Drysdale played an advantage in the centre circle, the ball fell to Redshaw on the edge of the penalty area and he curled home a fantastic strike from 20-yards.
It was another poor showing from Pools, whose movement off the ball was non-existent and the build-up play too slow when they had the ball in attacking areas.
Moore had clearly given them another of his rockets at the break as they did, initially at least, show more attacking intent in the early stages of the second half.
But they still failed to test the visiting keeper.
The game was finally sealed in the 81st minute. Morecambe caught Pools on the break, Redshaw combined with sub Kevin Ellison before tucking home the second past a despairing Flinders.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Bates, Jones, Holden, Duckworth (Schmeltz 62), Walker, Featherstone, Franks, Ironside, Fenwick (Compton 74). Subs not used: Maxted, Hawkins, Nearney, Lanzoni, Green. Booked: Fenwick, Holden.
Morecambe: Davies, Parrish, Hughes, Edwards, McGowan, McCready, Goodall, Williams, Wilson (Beeley 64), Mullin (Ellison 59), Redshaw. Subs not used: Devitt, Kenyon, Drummond, Arestidou, Amond. Booked: Mullin, Williams, Ellison. Goals: Redshaw 22, 81.
Att: 4,108 Ref: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).