Boss praises Hartlepool’s improvement at Wycombe Wanderers

Aaron Tshibola in action against Wycombe Wanderers.

Aaron Tshibola in action against Wycombe Wanderers.

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RONNIE Moore was pleased to see an improved display from his Hartlepool United side despite the 16th league defeat of the campaign.

With three new faces in the starting line-up and several other members of the team suffering from illness, Moore said it was always going to be a tough afternoon at the league leaders.

But he was pleased with the effort and commitment shown saying it was a “marked improvement” from the pathetic display against Morecambe the match before.

Pools looked far more solid at the back, with Scott Harrison in alongside Dan Jones at centre half, with Michael Duckworth returning to right-back and Neil Austin moved to left-back.

They coped well with a dangerous Wycombe frontline until the home side scored what proved to be the winning goal on the break in the 37th minute.

Fred Onyedinma finishing the move by beating Scott Flinders at his near post.

Overall it was a better performance but the end result was the same, signs of promise though for Moore.

“I thought the performance was better and there was a lot more commitment in there,” said Moore.

“We got lucky with the defending at times.

“But we had three new lads in there and a few were struggling with flu.

“There was an improvement and it would have been nice if that header late on went in.

“We didn’t create too much but we defended well.

“I’m not saying we passed it all over the place but it is hard to come here.

“They are top of the league and were in a similar position to us last season and look where they are now.

“We competed but gave away too many free kicks at times to put ourselves under pressure.

“It was a marked improvement as a group though.”

He was, however, disappointed with the goal conceded.

Moore added: “They are 90 yards away from our goal, Michael [Duckworth] doesn’t pick out the right pass, then Ozzy shouldn’t have gone and the keeper should have done better.

“It has gone inside the post with the keeper diving the other way.

“We need to learn from it.

“We just need that elusive first win, I can’t wait to get it and neither can the players.

“At least the players are talking to each other now.

“You could see even afterwards their heads were not down, we have a bit of fight in there.

“If we can help the others who have been here a long time with two more others then we have a chance.”

Moore also revealed afterwards that several first team players had been struck down with illness. Neil Austin and Matthew Bates were sick on the bus while Scott Fenwick was ill at training on Friday.

Brad Walker and Scott Harrison were also struggling while Michael Woods, who was available again after a one-match ban, missed out altogether through illness.

Moore added: “We have all had the flu – but I don’t have to play!

“Ozzy was sick on the bus, as was Batesy and young Scott Fenwick was sick when we trained.

“There has been a lot going round. Brad was struggling like mad.

“So when you include that, plus the three new faces, the performance wasn’t brilliant but it was a marked improvement.”

- RICHARD MENNEAR