Hartlepool boss looking for more from set-pieces

Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore

Ronnie Moore is looking for an urgent cure to Hartlepool United’s set-piece problems.

SportMail has already reported on Moore’s frustrations about the lack of success from dead-ball situations or throw-ins.

Set-plays at our level are so, so important, in a tight game they could win you the match.

Billy Paynter’s headed winner at Fleetwood Town from Jake Carroll’s free-kick has been the notable exception.

Pools did score from a Carroll corner against Carlisle though only after Carl Magnay had stretched to keep it in while Paynter scored from the spot against Carlisle after Scott Fenwick had been fouled while waiting for a delivery to come in.

Moore has been unhappy with how Pools have defended from corners, free-kicks and throw-ins and his mood has not been improved by their execution from their own awards this week.

Carroll has suffered a tendency to over-hit his left-footers and even passed on the dead-ball work last Saturday to Michael Woods and Lewis Hawkins in mid-week against Sheffield United.

“We’ve got to get our free-kicks and corners right because they are a disgrace at the moment,” said Moore.

“We have practised on the training ground and they have been perfect, but when we’re in games, they are awful.

“As a manager, you are sat there pulling your hair out. People say ‘put someone else on it’ and Hawksy had a go, but where did that end up?

“Set-plays at our level are so, so important, in a tight game they could win you the match.

“If the ball in is right we have big lads in there wanting to get on the end of it.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

“If the first ball isn’t right then you are never going to score

“But if you watch the sessions at Durham, they are spot on. Every time though we’ve had corners or free-kicks have they ended in their goalie’s hands?

“I’d rather they ended up over the bar, at least it would mean they could not counter-attack.

“We’ll work on it and get it right.”

While Moore has been frustrated about Carroll’s set-pieces, he was pleased with the way the full-back played after being critical of the summer signing in the wake of the defeat by Carlisle.

“We’ve been shouting and screaming at Carroll to get forward,” said the manager.

“Once we went to 4-4-2 he had to go play that wide role and he’s nearly scored when he’s hit one, it was a helluva strike.

“He has good feet and we’ve not seen it yet, there’s still a lot to come from him.”