‘Big, strong squad’ vital to Hartlepool success next season says Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

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Ronnie Moore says having a “big, strong” squad is going to be the cornerstone to Hartlepool’s success ahead of another gruelling campaign.

The League Two 2015-16 fixtures have been released with Pools enjoying a rare home game to kick-off proceedings, with Morecambe visiting Victoria Park on August 8th.

I think that’s where we’ll need a big and strong squad

Ronnie Moore, Pools manager

Moore has so far added six new signings to his squad and he is looking forward to a “fantastic atmosphere” at the curtain raiser – with his new-look side looking to start strongly.

Pools narrowly avoided relegation out of the Football League and Moore is keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s start, which saw the club lose four out of their opening five matches. After Morecambe, Pools travel to York City before a home game against Newport County three days later.

Moore, who said he “can’t wait” for the new season, added: “I’m certainly pleased that we’re at home for the first game of the season – it’s always nice to play in front of your own fans to start off with, especially when we’ll have quite a few new players on show. I’m sure it will be a fantastic atmosphere.

“We will have to be at our best from the first whistle of the season.

“Then it catches the eye that we’re at York City so quickly which is obviously a bit of a derby game and one where we will probably take another 2,000 fans to support us.”

Pools face a busy festive period with Pools at home to Notts County on Boxing Day, before heading to Carlisle United on Monday, December 28 and another away day at Newport County on Saturday, January 2.

At Easter, Pools host AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, March 26, with a trip to Leyton Orient on Easter Monday - and Moore knows having a big squad will be key.

He added: “Christmas will be a busy period for us with lots of games coming over a short space of time and I think that’s where we’ll need a big and strong squad so hopefully we can have a productive time of it.

“Looking at it, it doesn’t appear we have that much travelling to do apart from going to Newport County for the first game of 2016 – that’s going to mean a hotel somewhere on New Year’s Day night which I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to!”

Pools end the campaign with two tough fixtures, home to Portsmouth before a long away trip to Plymouth Argyle for the final day, which traditionally sees fans don fancy dress costumes.

Moore added: “That final home game against Portsmouth will be a massive fixture because I am guessing they will be up there going for promotion under Paul Cook.

“Then we have to go all the way to Plymouth on the final day – will it be reggae reggae time again?!”