Ronnie Moore will today be sending a get well soon message to Carl Magnay.
Hartlepool United’s captain marvel took a bang to the head against Oxford United at Victoria Park on Saturday.
And Moore will be desperate to have Magnay at the heart of his team for Friday night’s FA Cup second round visit to non-league Salford City.
The midfielder excelled in the bright new formation sent out by Moore and was effective in all parts of the field.
But Pools missed the 26-year-old when he was forced off on the hour, though credit to his replacement Brad Walker who went close three times from outside the box in the last half-an-hour.
“Maggers is as fit as hell – he can play anywhere,” said Moore.
“He likes a tackle and on Saturday was making them higher up, instead of being on half-way.
“He got us into some good positions.
“I thought the three in there [Magnay, Nicky Featherstone and Jake Gray] were very good, it’s just a shame Maggers had to come off.
“He got a knock on his eye, his vision was blurry and there’s no way he could stay on.”
While Pools were not the same without him –sub Danny Hylton scored Oxford’s winner 10 minutes after his departure - Moore insisted others need to step up to the plate.
“We can’t be a one-man team,” he said.
“Brad’s gone in and gone close with a couple of shots and we need him to be coming back to form.”
Walker certainly looked a lot brighter than of late and was the pick of the three subs used against .
But Moore was mystified by some of the crowd response to his withdrawal of Jake Gray.
There were some boos when the two-goal hero against Leyton Orient was removed with 16 minutes to go.
However, the manager explained that the teenager was only brought off because he had ran himself into the Vic turf
“I was proud of the players and how well they played,” he said.
“I heard one or two people behind me moaning saying “the substitutions were rubbish”.
“That’s their opinion, they pay their money.
“Young Gray was flat out. What am I supposed to do? Leave him on and risk him getting a calf or hamstring strain?
“He’s still physically getting used to men’s football.
“That was the reason he came off.
“He had an excellent game, especially the first half,when he was up and down the park.
“Had I kept him on he may have got a goal, we won’t know now, but he could have strained a calf and been out for a month or a hamy and be out for six weeks.
“We have to look after him and people should let me get on with doing that.”
Moore admitted defeat was “hard to take” and was frustrated by the fact midfielder Alex MacDonald was allowed to burst upsfield and cross for Hylton to tuck away the winner.
“The first half was as good as it’s been since I’ve been here,” he said.
“We changed the way we played, the way we think, we moved it quickly, all that was missing was a goal.
“But when you are against top of the league then one lapse of concentration can hurt you.
“They got in too easily, a full-back should put a winger down the line, I don’t see them scoring when the play is out wide.
“But to let him inside and give him the freedom of the park to put it where he wants to?
“Hylton isn’t going to miss from there, I’d have scored that.”