Hartlepool United boss: Strikers must be more clinical

Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore
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FRUSTRATED Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore wants his goal shy target men to be more clinical in front of goal – just like he used to be.

Pools are the lowest scorers in Sky Bet League Two with just 23 goals scored this season, a key reason why the side is bottom of the Football League.

And with in-form Scott Fenwick currently sidelined with an ankle injury, Moore is relying on his target men Marlon Harewood and Marvin Morgan to lead the line for Pools.

The pair were partnered together for the first time in the 1-0 win over Northampton and while on-loan Plymouth Argyle striker Morgan scored the winner, the victory should have been far more comfortable.

Harewood has scored just twice in 25 appearances this season and the 35-year-old missed two glorious chances against Northampton.

Former striker Moore, who was prolific during spells with Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United in his playing days, has called on his forwards to be more ruthless in front of goal.

“It does frustrate me because you have to be clinical,” Moore said.

“It is not like they were hard chances either (against Northampton), we just made the wrong decisions.

“Do you hit one when you should have had a touch or vice versa?

“Maz [Harewood] had two really good chances and chose the wrong decision on both of them.

“On the first one he stopped and the keeper saved and the one he hit first time everyone in the crowd knows he should have had a touch.

“(Jack) Compton had one too but at least he hit the target and made the keeper make some saves.

“Maz set him up for one and he does give you something different to the normal striker.

“But target players at this level very rarely score more than one in five.”

Moore, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s home match with Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two, was pleased to see Morgan score on his home debut for Pools in the win over Northampton.

But he insists there is much more to come from the 31-year-old.

Moore added: “Northampton was a tough game but we did well to beat a team in form.

“We got the goal and hung on for dear life, we got a bit lucky but we earned it as we had better scoring opportunities and could have put the game to bed.

“Marvin took his goal well but there’s a lot more to come.

“He’s lacking in match fitness but can force himself and work harder and if it means he comes off after an hour or 70 minutes then that’s the way to build up fitness.

“We have had some good results, but we don’t look ahead or set targets.”