HARTLEPOOL United’s nail-biting battle against relegation will go right down to the wire, believes boss Ronnie Moore.
And Moore admits he would happily accept a “winner takes all” encounter at rivals Carlisle United on the final day of the season.
I will take Carlisle away now – winner takes all – if it was given to me and we deserve that chanceRonnie Moore
Tuesday’s victory over Oxford United, the second on the road in four days, saw Pools claw the gap to safety back to just four points, with nine games to go.
Moore knows it is all to play for and with games against relegation rivals Carlisle and York City still to come, the club’s destiny remains in their own hands.
“A lot of teams had written us off already,” said Moore.
“If you are Tranmere or others ahead of us then you were only looking at the teams above you because, at one stage, we did look dead and buried.
“Then, all of a sudden, they will be thinking, ‘bloody hell, they have won again’.
“It then puts so much pressure on them, something we have had all season, but they haven’t. There are a lot of sides that will be panicking.
“The question is ‘can they handle the crowd having a go at them’, because they will, and those sides above us will be nervous as hell now.
“I just wish our goal difference (of minus 29) was an awful lot better because then the four points would be just that, and not five, in reality. Unless we start winning by five or six every week, of course!
“But this battle will go down to the wire, there is no doubt about that.
“I will take Carlisle away now – winner takes all – if it was given to me and we deserve that chance.
“We can only keep progressing as we are.”
Next up, Pools have two home games on the spin for Moore’s side, Mansfield Town visit this weekend, with Cambridge United making the trip north the following Saturday.
Pools have slashed ticket prices for this Saturday’s home game against Mansfield, with chairman Ken Hodcroft telling supporters: “We’re happy to be able to offer a reduction in ticket prices this weekend as a thank you to our fans for their loyalty and support.
“The backing given to the team both at home and away has been superb and it is hugely appreciated.
“We’re approaching a critical point of the season and we all know that your support can still play a key role in our fight for survival, so please come along in your numbers once again on Saturday and help cheer the team to victory.”
Adult admissions will be £12 (seats) and £10 (standing, with concessions £6 and £5.