Hartlepool boss wants to step it up

Ronnie Moore celebrating the 2-1 win over Exeter City.
Ronnie Moore celebrating the 2-1 win over Exeter City.
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RONNIE Moore wants Hartlepool United to have a right good go at League Two next year after securing his greatest achievement in football.

Against all the odds, Pools pulled off one of the “Greatest Escapes” after a dramatic win over Exeter City sealed their league status with a game to go.

Here we have gone from ten points adrift to safety. I’m very proud of it.

Less than two months ago, the club was rock bottom of Sky Bet League Two, 10 points from safety and heading into the Conference.

But a remarkable run has seen them survive and boss Moore is already looking ahead to next season.

Moore isn’t promising a promotion push but he has called on his players to use the massive momentum gained going into the new campaign.

“We can have a go next season but the players have to be up and at it and enjoying their football,” a beaming Moore said.

“You need to be lucky at this level, the right signings, the right players in the right formation and we will sit down with the chairman and see what road we want to go down.

“But if you can put that effort in and grind it out like we did against Exeter then you don’t always need the best players, just be the best team.

“I’m not bright enough to say we are going for promotion next year, but let’s enjoy being a Football League club because of what has gone on.

“We were so so close to not being one, we don’t want this to happen again.”

Experienced Moore has seen it all in football, including back-to-back promotions with Rotherham but he admits keeping Pools in the Football League is his greatest achievement to date.

Goals from Scott Fenwick and Jordan Hugill sealed the win at Victoria Park, with hundreds of fans streaming onto the pitch at the final whistle.

“Without a doubt this is my biggest achievement in football,” he added.

“Back-to-back promotions with Rotherham were hard on that budget, and to stay in the Championship for four years was massive on a £1.5m budget – getting results against Man City and beating West Ham.

“But here we have gone from ten points adrift to safety. I’m very proud of it and my head was aching Sunday morning!

“This means so much to the town and the supporters have been unbelievable, we were still getting 3,500 when we were bottom and you wouldn’t get that anywhere – not at any club.

“They have got behind us and we gave them belief when everyone thought we were dead.”

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Harrison, Bates, Dan Jones, Franks, Tshibola, Featherstone, Compton (Miller 80), Hugill (Harewood 68), Fenwick. Subs not used: Walker, Maxted, Nelson-Addy, Duckworth, Jordan Jones. Booked: Hugill. Goals: Fenwick 15, Hugill 44.

Exeter: Hamon, Davies, Bennett, Moore-Taylor, McAllister, Oakley, Sercombe, Harley, Keohane (Nichols 68), Nicholls (Wheeler 46), Cummins (Morrison 64). Subs not used: Butterfield, Tillson, Jay, Pym. Booked: Oakley. Goals: Cummins 17.

Att: 4,994. Ref: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).