RONNIE Moore believes Hartlepool United’s young full-backs struggle to defend because they haven’t been coached properly in the past.
Moore has been full of praise for young centre-half Dan Jones since taking charge but says there is definite room for improvement for marauding defenders Michael Duckworth and Darren Holden.
Holden was dropped after the 2-0 home defeat to Morecambe, with Moore choosing to move Neil Austin back to the left-back role.
He believes Holden and right-back Duckworth – who joined last season from non-league Bradford Park Avenue – are too keen to attack when they should be focusing on defending.
Moore said: “Dan Jones has been fantastic for me, not the biggest, but gets up and heads the ball and he can be a player.
“The full-backs, Daz and Michael, need to know how to defend.
“They like to bomb on all the time and they need to sit in and defend and it may take time to get that across.”
Moore is also keen to change the system at Pools and believes 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 may work well, with the right players.
He added: “At the moment, with 4-4-2 the full backs don’t want to defend and it puts us under pressure.
“Another system puts the full backs on and gets them in the comfort zone.
“It’s not their fault, they haven’t been taught how to defend.
“It’s the donkey and the carrot – put the carrot in front and it will run all day but not the other way.
“It’s down to the coaching they have had in the past which hasn’t been good enough.
“So it’s wrong to say they can’t defend, they’ve not been taught how to.
“We’ll make sure we get them back in the afternoons to teach them how to defend and play in a back four, they will appreciate it and be better players for it.
“Both are quick, both like to get forward and both can improve their crossing in those areas.
“There’s a lot to work on but they are exciting going forward and can play that way.”
Speaking ahead of the visit of Cheltenham, Moore said the whole club was “desperate” for that first win he hopes will kick-start a run of form.
He said the supporters have played their part and he now wants the players to do the same.
Moore added: “The crowd here have been fantastic for us, they want it, they want success and we have to put that desire and hunger into the players.
“The very least is they should be running, getting a sweat on, having a battle.
“Do that, the crowd want it.
“Last home game the fans said players weren’t fit to wear the shirt and they were right.
“Now we have added to the squad and got options, it’s not an extra to run about and get a sweat on – that’s what they get paid for and that bit of extra quality we are looking for will help.”