“DON’T waste the opportunity.”
That is the simple message from Ronnie Moore to his Hartlepool United squad ahead of a “crucial” Easter weekend, starting with Newport County away tomorrow.
If anything goes wrong now then it is our fault. We have put ourselves in a situation where our fate is in our hands.Ronnie Moore
Pools travel to Rodney Parade a point above the relegation zone in Sky Bet League Two after an incredible turnaround, with Moore looking to make it five straight wins.
But Pools couldn’t have asked for a tougher Easter, with back-to-back fixtures against promotion-chasing County and Southend United Easter Monday.
Pools have given themselves a great chance of retaining their Football League status and Moore – who has never before been relegated as a manager – has called on them not to let the opportunity slip.
“I don’t want a relegation on my CV, that is why I batter the players,” said Moore.
“They know and realise we have a hell of a chance.
“If anything goes wrong now then it is our fault.
“We have put ourselves in a situation where our fate is in our hands.
“We won’t win seven games on the trot but I believe we can win another three.
“It is just being lucky and being consistent and if we put a shift in, you earn the luck, but that is their job.”
Moore has been delighted with the recent effort, with victories over Morecambe (1-0), Oxford United (2-0), Mansfield Town (1-0) and Cambridge United (2-1) helping close a nine-point gap to safety.
Ahead of the long trip to Newport, Pools now sit third bottom, a point above Tranmere Rovers and two above basement side Cheltenham Town.
After working so hard to climb out of the relegation zone, Moore doesn’t want to see his side slip back in.
“We are off the bottom and that has given a great lift to everybody so we don’t want to go back in there,” added Moore.
“Everyone now believes we have half a chance but we’ve not done anything yet.
“We keep it sensible because all we have done is get our heads above water, now, the question is can we go and swim away from it?
“Easter is always a crucial period because you have two games in three days – get a knock on Friday and it is hard to get over it for the Monday and we aren’t a massive squad.
“There are six points to take and the picture can change very quickly.
“But if we do our part, then it doesn’t matter what happens anywhere else and we have to make sure we don’t waste the opportunity.
“I don’t think anybody is behaving any differently, we are not doing hula hoops and dancing around the place.
“The atmosphere is the same but we have to keep our feet on the ground and make sure we stay out of the bottom two.”
Moore watched Newport County’s recent match win 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley and he is expecting a tough workout against Jimmy Dack’s play-off chasing side.
County are 6th in League Two.
Moore added: “Newport played well and they have a bit of pace, are big and strong and well organised.
“Then we have Southend [on Easter Monday], who are very similar.
“They are both trying to cement a place in the play-offs and we know both will be difficult fixtures but I like to think there will be a lot of teams fearing playing us after our run.”