Hartlepool’s relegation fight will go down to the wire

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

HARTLEPOOL United’s nail-biting battle against relegation will go right down to the wire, believes Ronnie Moore.

And Moore (left) admits he would happily accept a “winner takes all” encounter away at rivals Carlisle United on the final day of the season.

I will take Carlisle away now - winner takes all - if it was given to me and we deserve that chance.

Ronnie Moore, Pools manager

Tuesday’s ictory over Oxford United, the second on the road in four days, saw Pools claw the gap to safety back to just four points with nine games to go.

Moore knows it is all to play for and, with games against relegation rivals Carlisle and York City still to come, the club’s destiny remains in their own hands.

“A lot of teams had written us off already,” said Moore.

“If you are Tranmere or others ahead of us then you were only looking at the teams above you because at one stage we did look dead and buried.

“Then all of a sudden they will be thinking, ‘bloody hell, they have won again’.

“It then puts so much pressure on them, something we have had all season, but they haven’t.

“The question is can they handle the crowd having a go at them, because they will, and those sides above us will be nervous as hell now.

“I just wish our goal difference [of minus 29] was an awful lot better because then the four points would be just that, and not five, in reality.

“Unless we start winning by five or six every week, of course!

“But this battle will go down to the wire, there is no doubt about that.

“I will take Carlisle away now – winner takes all – if it was given to me and we deserve that chance.

“We can only keep progressing as we are.”

Next up is two home games on the spin for Moore’s side, Mansfield Town visit this weekend, with Cambridge United making the trip North the following Saturday.

And six points from the last two away trips has helped drag those other teams back into the relegation scrap.

On Tuesday, Carlisle United and Tranmere Rovers both won, while Cheltenham Town picked up a point but three sides are now within four points of Pools.

And Moore knows they will be panicking as they see his side now starting to pick up results.

Moore added: “I didn’t think I’d ever be saying I wished we were away from home again!

“People will say the pressure is on us because we are at home, it’s not, the pressure is on everybody.

“We can only do our part and some days you come off and other teams have done the same as you.

“After Morecambe we were made up because they hadn’t, on Tuesday night other teams got results too.

“But it is so close and tight now and a lot of teams are within reach, three teams within four points.

“There are a lot of sides that will be panicking.”