Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore demands huge reaction at Cambridge

Ronnie Moore at Accrington

Ronnie Moore at Accrington

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Ronnie Moore will be looking for a reaction from Hartlepool United when they visit Cambridge United this Saturday.

Moore was unhappy to see Pools follow Saturday’s excellent win over Wycombe by sinking, almost without trace, 3-1 at another promotion candidate, Accrington Stanley.

Rakish Bingham

Rakish Bingham

Last night’s defeat was no disgrace – John Coleman’s side played some sumptuous football – but the manner in which Pools lost was disturbing.

Pools were fortunate to be only two down at the break to an Adam Buxton free-kick and Shay McCartan’s injury-time goal.

They conceded another to McCartan before the hour mark but they did improve in the last half-hour with sub Rakish Bingham smashing in a super goal.

“I’ve not seen us play like that for a long time,” said Moore. “We were so lacklustre.

Nicky Featherstone in action at Accrington

Nicky Featherstone in action at Accrington

“We never got started yet we nearly got in at half-time only 1-0 down but that second goal killed us.

“The second and third goals were horror goals.

“If we’d have come here and performed like we did in the first half against Wycombe then we’d have had a chance.

“But we gave ourselves a mountain to climb by the way we played in the first half and if you play like that you won’t win many matches.

“They have played good football, but they have not had to work too hard for the goals.”

And it gets no easier for Pools who face the prospect of a trip to the Abbey Stadium to face a Cambridge side just three points off the play-offs.

“There are no easy games,” said Moore, who said he will look to alter his side.

Jake Gray, left out to accommodate loan signing Ellis Harrison, may return while there was a fine performance from his fellow sub Bingham.

“We went 4-4-2 last night to try to have a go at them, but it didn’t work for us,” he said.

“But we are still trying to get bodies in to improve the squad and make us better.

“I gave the players an opportunity [last night] to play so I would imagine there will be one or two changes again.

“I want the lads who have the shirt to do everything to try to keep it.

“You keep it by displaying blood, sweat and tears.

“But I don’t think we got that at Accrington.

“We were not strong enough defensively and we never had a threat going forward because, basically, we did not keep the ball well enough.

“If you don’t keep the ball, you are not going to get many chances.

“I’ve put wingers in and put two strikers up there to try to score goals.

“But there were no balls coming in from the wide areas, no quality and that was disappointing for me.”

There were some encouraging signs from on-loan Bristol Rovers striker Harrison.

But Moore admitted the Wales U21 international was perhaps a little ring-rusty after spending a long spell on the Pirates bench.

“It was hard for him, but he needs games,” said Moore.