RONNIE Moore admits it was a “massive” decision to leave out Scott Fenwick in favour of Marlon Harewood.
But the Pools boss said he didn’t regret the move and doesn’t believe it had a bearing on the defeat at Shrewsbury, with Moore keen to add Harewood’s height to the side.
Fenwick, 24, impressed alongside Rakish Bingham in the 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town last weekend and had hoped he had done enough to secure a run in the side after scoring.
But Moore dropped him to the bench at Greenhous Meadow with 35-year-old Harewood restored to the starting line-up.
Harewood had missed the three previous matches after seeing red on Boxing Day at Mansfield Town.
But the former West Ham United striker was brought straight back into the side in place of former non-league star Fenwick.
His absence provoked a strong outcry from Pools supporters who queried why Moore had decided to change a winning team.
Fenwick – who came on as a sub for Harewood in the second-half -–will feel hard done by but his manager said he responded in the correct manner.
Moore told SportMail: “It was a massive decision.
“But I don’t think Marlon being in affected it, he had a couple of chances in the game.
“I pulled Scotty to one side and told him ‘look, they are a physical side and we needed that little bit more height at set plays, for and against’.
“Scotty understood that, he came on and he is going to be all right.
“He responded in the right way – no doubt about that. He was disappointed he wasn’t starting, of course, but I don’t think it was a decision that altered the game.”
Harewood, playing up front alongside on-loan Mansfield Town striker Bingham, started the game reasonably well, winning a couple of headers and going toe-to-toe with the Town back three.
But he quickly went off the boil and Moore turned to Fenwick from the subs bench mid-way through the second-half with the Pools boss barely acknowledging Harewood as he trudged off the park.
Moore had set his side up in an attacking 4-4-2 formation and they didn’t shy away from having a go against the Shrews early on, who moved into third place with the win.
It was an entertaining first half and Pools certainly carved out the clearer opportunities, with Jonathan Franks and Michael Duckworth going close in the opening 45 minutes.
They were made to rue those missed opportunities after the break though as a strong Shrewsbury side showed exactly why they are unbeaten on home soil this season in the league.
“First half there was nothing wrong with us,” added Moore.
“If you were a neutral you’d have thought we were the side in fourth position.
“But we have to be consistent and stop giving away sloppy goals.
“If we do that, we will win more games.”