Ronnie Moore urges Hartlepool United defenders to man up

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore.
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore.
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Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore has told his defenders to “man up” and face up to the criticism coming their way after leaking seven goals in two games, writes Richard Mennear.

Moore was left angry with his side’s defending in the 4-1 Luton Town defeat, which followed the 3-0 loss to Bristol Rovers.

You can’t be conceding seven goals at home and not criticise your back four.

Six out of the seven goals were avoidable and Moore has called on them to show a sharp improvement as jobs will be on the line if not.

Pools started the season well with four straight wins in all competitions, but they now sit 17th in Sky Bet League Two, with Moore facing problems in defence and with his misfiring strikers.

Harsh words were said in the aftermath of the Luton Town defeat, with the squad hauled in on Sunday for extra training at Maiden Castle.

Moore has no intention of changing his tough love approach to management tough.

“They don’t like me criticising them as a back four, but it is a man’s world,” Moore said.

“If you don’t like it then don’t be a footballer.

“I’d rather have pats on the back, they are much better, as a manager but if things aren’t going right then you get some hammer and stick.

“To have players saying ‘you shouldn’t be speaking to me like that’ well go and get a nappy on then.

“It is a man’s world.

“It is people’s careers, jobs at stake. It is grow up time, we all have mortgages to pay.

“You can’t be conceding seven goals at home and not criticise your back four.”

Moore doesn’t shy away from making big decisions.

And he has to decide whether to stick with Scott Harrison and Scunthorpe United loanee Andrew Boyce in central defence or bring Dan Jones back into the side.

The Pools boss is continuing his search for fresh blood, with the loan market and free agents open to Moore.

“I have to be honest and if someone is not doing it, they need to be told,” added Moore.

“As a back four we are not quite right. We need to get them together.

“The forwards and midfielders have done their defensive job (against Luton) and we have been done with a ball over the top, a square ball and one blasted in from 20-yards.

“If that is the same guy making mistakes then out you go. But it is a few of them.

“That is why they are where they are and we will have inconsistencies.

“But it is trying to make that back four solid and that is the hard part.”