Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore hopes Pools’ fixtureless festive period pays off at Newport

Ronnie Moore

Ronnie Moore

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Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore says he’s never known a fixtureless festive period like Pools’ before - but hopes it pays off at Newport County tomorrow, writes MATTHEW HENRY.

Pools’ Boxing Day match against Notts County was called off due to a waterlogged pitch while their trip to Carlisle was postponed due to flooding earlier this month.

I’ve never had this before with Christmas and no games. Two games in three days is the norm. I suppose we’ve rested tired legs and we hope the rest has done them good

Ronnie Moore

The fixture changes mean tomorrow’s match will be Newport’s third in eight days while Pools have not played for a fortnight.

Moore said: “We hope we are fresher, it should be like that. A rest should have done us good, but we have trained and had physical running days and we don’t know until five o’clock.

“It’s been a strange time of year – I’ve never had this before with Christmas and no games. Two games in three days is the norm.

“I suppose we’ve rested tired legs and we hope the rest has done them good but we’ll soon find out about that won’t we?”

Hartlepool travel to Rodney Parade having suffered four straight league defeats, the last coming against Plymouth Argyle.

Moore could again be without Carl Magnay who has been sidelined with a groin injury.

The Pools boss said Magnay has a 30 per cent chance of playing but added he will “wait and see” about the versatile player’s fitness.

Michael Duckworth and top scorer Billy Paynter remain sidelined, while Mikael Mandron has returned to Sunderland following the early end of his loan spell.

Pools beat Newport 1-0 earlier in the season thanks to a Scott Fenwick goal, a result which saw Pools climb to third after three wins from their opening three games.

Pools have fallen rapidly down League Two since then however, and are now level on points with their opponents, and sit 21st, a place below the Welsh side.

Since replacing Terry Butcher with John Sheridan in October, Newport have seen an upturn in fortunes collecting 15 points, having won just once in the opening two months of the campaign.

Moore said: “They have picked up, Shez has done a good job and it will be tough, but if we play, we know what we can do.

“There’s going to be a lot of games to come up for us, we have re-arranged games to come – Saturday and Tuesday a lot of times.

“Hopefully we can get flying and kick off with the win we all want.

“There’s games in hand, but they mean nothing as you have to win them.

“Trying to win has been tough and hopefully new blood will help us.

“Other teams have picked up points while we haven’t been playing – we are looking the other way not over our shoulders.”