Hartlepool boss can’t plan for next season with league status unsecured

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore during their 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon.  Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore during their 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

RONNIE Moore admits it is proving difficult to plan ahead for next season until Hartlepool United’s league status is secured – something he wants to achieve tomorrow.

Usually at this time of the year, managers have one eye on the next campaign with potential signings targeted and plans in place for current squad members.

You can’t look too far ahead because we don’t know where we’ll be

Ronnie Moore

But the Pools boss says the club finds itself in a state of limbo until they know which division they are going to be playing in come August.

Pools are third bottom in Sky Bet League Two, a point above the relegation zone, ahead of the final two matches, starting with Exeter City at Victoria Park tomorrow (KO 3pm).

“The problem we have is you can’t look too far ahead because we don’t know where we are going to be,” Moore told SportMail.

“Trying to speak to players and getting them in for next season, normally you can have a little chat and a phone call and lay some foundations, if you like.

“But at this present moment in time – what with our situation – we can’t because you know what

footballers are like.

“They all think they are better than what they are and don’t want to be at a non-league club.

“We have to make sure we stay in this league.”

A win against Exeter, coupled with a defeat for relegation rivals Cheltenham Town and either a draw or defeat for Tranmere Rovers would see Pools achieve just that.

It would be a remarkable Great Escape too, given they were 10 points adrift at one stage.

Four straight wins in March propelled them out of the drop zone but since then they have gone five games without a win.

Moore is desperate to secure safety at a packed Victoria Park tomorrow ahead of the final day of the season away at Carlisle United – who are already safe.

“The players don’t want to let themselves, me or the supporters down,” added Moore.

“We have had a good look through Exeter’s previous games, to see how they play and the ability that they have got.

“We are lucky in many ways that over the last three weeks, the other teams have been as bad as us.

“I will guarantee now that someone will win tomorrow and we have to make sure it is us because if we produce a bad performance, then we won’t be where we are at this present time.

“It is down to us to produce, to be brave because since we have come out the bottom two we have been a bag of nerves.

“I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, so it is down to the individuals to do that.

“I can’t see any reason why we cannot win.”

Pools (likely) 4-4-2: Flinders (C), Duckworth, Harrison, D. Jones, Austin, Featherstone, Tshibola, Compton, Franks, Fenwick, Hugill.

Subs (from): Maxted, Richards, Parnaby, Bates, J. Jones, Nelson-Addy, Miller, Walker, Smith, Hawkins, Harewood.

Exeter (likely): Pym, Davies, Bennett, Moore-Taylor, McAllister, Sercombe, Oakley, Keohane, Harley, Wheeler, Morrison.

Subs: Butterfield, Reid, Nichols, Hamon, Tillson, Jay, Cummins.

Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)