THE last time Hartlepool United played Burton Albion they were thumped 4-0 with Ronnie Moore sat watching the collapse from the stands with his head in his hands.
Caretaker Sam Collins was in the dugout that mid-December day as Pools fell apart in front of their incoming manager.
I watched the corresponding game before taking over here and it wasn’t very nice on the day.Ronnie Moore
Moore was named boss days later and while the side remain bottom of Sky Bet League Two, there has since been an improvement in performances.
The team has also been overhauled with six of the players starting that day unlikely to feature at Victoria Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
But Moore knows with just 12 games left, now is not the time for words or plaudits.
Basement side Pools need points.
“I watched the corresponding game before taking over here and it wasn’t very nice on the day,” said Moore.
“For 45 minutes we were good and in the game, but how many times have I said that since I’ve been here?
“It was embarrassing the way we caved in that day and hopefully we can take the game to them tomorrow.
“Concentration levels are important and maybe now when we concede we don’t ship three or four goals.
“It has been a problem here and trying to fix it is difficult when your hands are tired a bit in the abilities we have got.
“But I’ve been in charge of teams that haven’t had the best of abilities, but we have been really hard to beat and that’s what we need now.
“I have seen improvements since Burton away, without doubt.
“Results – especially away from home – haven’t improved but performances have,” added Moore.
Pools go into the game buoyed by four wins out of their last five matches at Victoria Park but Moore respects the job Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is doing and knows title-chasing Burton will pose a tough challenge.
“Home form has been really good and we don’t fear Burton – we respect them,” said Moore. “Jimmy has done a fantastic job since he went in there.
“They pass and move it about well and I’m not surprised by the job he has done.
“It’s always a big test your first job, but it’s a fantastic job to start with a good chairman and board.
“He may have surprised one or two people but they are up there on merit.
“They want to play, stick to their principles and I know a few of their players – four of them were at Tranmere with me.
“They have lost two on the trot and after winning four from five at home, we want to add to that.”
Hasselbaink, meanwhile, is calling for his side to produce a performance after back-to-back defeats.
He said: “We need the good performances which we had in the past and that is it.”
Pools (probable): Flinders, Duckworth, Harrison, Mirfin, Austin, Franks, Tshibola, Featherstone, Compton, Bird, Smith. Subs (from) Maxted, Richards, D. Jones, Nearney, Holden, Walker, J. Jones, Harewood, Morgan.
Burton (probable): McLaughlin, Edwards, Calero, Mousinho, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory, Akins, Weir, El Khayati, McGurk, Beavon. Subs: Taft, Naylor, Slade, Antoine-Curier, Maynard, Shearer.