RONNIE Moore has slammed his “lacklustre” players for their inconsistent performances after the 2-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.
An own goal from Scott Harrison and a sublime 35-yard free-kick sunk Hartlepool United at Victoria Road last night, leaving Pools seven points from safety with just 12 games left.
Pools started brightly, dominating the opening 20 minutes. But an injury to Daggers keeper Mark Cousins disrupted Pools’ flow and the hosts took the lead moments later after Harrison put through his own net.
Billy Bingham then stepped up with a world class free-kick into the top corner midway through the second half to seal the win.
It left Moore fuming and he kept his players inside the dressing room for a good half hour following the final whistle.
Pools had gone into the game on the back of a 1-0 win over Wimbledon but the last time they secured consecutive wins was February last year.
Moore said: “If ever there was a chance of winning games back-to-back, this was it. The players are so inconsistent it is unbelievable, give us a bit of effort and sweat and be organised.
“We had 100-odd people come all that way to watch that.
“They will stand by them if they see them running about and closing people down, we had none of that.
“I don’t know if one or two of them think they are better than they are but we can’t perform like we did. Hand on heart, this was a game I thought we were going to win.
“It was quiet, the crowd was flat, there was no atmosphere and they looked very nervous.”
Pools dominated the first 20 minutes, winning six corners in quick succession but failed to create any clear cut chances.
Moore added: “We were in total control without creating too much, we never looked under threat.
“But we switched off when their keeper was going off.
“From being in full control, we found ourself a goal down.
“Then we gave the free-kick away and three keepers wouldn’t have stopped that.
“We huffed and puffed without threatening.
“It is the inconsistency that has got us where we are but how do you stop that?”
Moore insisted his side would have comfortably won the game, if they’d scored the first goal.
But as soon as Harrison’s own goal flew past Scott Flinders from six-yards after 22 minutes, defeat seemed inevitable.
“If we’d have scored first, we’d have scored five,” added Moore.
“As soon as we conceded, that lacklustre side came in.
“There was no spark - nobody to light the blue torch paper and give it a go.
“We need a leader, we need that on the pitch.
“That is the disappointing thing for me, I feel for everybody at this moment.
“Do the players really realise we are fighting for our lives here?
“Fighting to keep the club in the league.
“We aren’t good enough to have five players off and try and win a game.”