Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore: We need a midfielder

Jake Carroll plays the ball past Simon Walton

Jake Carroll plays the ball past Simon Walton

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Ronnie Moore will look to bring in a new central midfielder as he looks to “fire up” his stuttering Hartlepool United squad.

Pools went into last week looking for a maximum haul of nine points from games against three sides below them.

We definitely need some new blood to brighten us up in the heart of the team

RONNIE MOORE

But Moore instead had to make do with just four following a desperately poor 2-1 home defeat to Crawley Town, who have now climbed above Pools.

Pools, 19th in League Two, produced a dismal first-half showing, with Brad Walker and Jake Carroll swiftly removed from the action at half-time.

Moore revealed afterwards that 19-year-old Walker had been removed for his own good, with Moore concerned his poor performance would worsen after the break.

With Carl Magnay still serving a ban, Moore will look elsewhere to add some much-needed bite and leadership into central midfield.

“I come in every week saying we need this and that – a centre-forward, a centre-half, a right-back, a winger,” said Moore.

“It shows we are not firing on all cylinders.

“But we definitely need some new blood to brighten us up in the heart of the team, to fire us up. We have no fire in there, as far as I am concerned.

“We need to address that sharpish.”

Billingham-born Walker broke into the side under Colin Cooper, earning rave reviews and call-ups to England Under-18 training camps.

But the teenager has struggled to reproduce that early form during Moore’s spell in charge.

And he now looks set for a spell out of the side.

Moore told SportMail: “People tell me about Brad Walker and how good he is and what he has given.

“He is a young kid and still learning the game.

“I think one or two of the crowd have had a pop, he has to be bigger and accept it.

“I thought I was doing him a favour in taking him off.

“If he had stayed on he would have got worse because of it.”

Walker was by no means the only player to produce a poor performance, with several Pools players off their game.

Only Rhys Oates and keeper Trevor Carson were gifted any praise by an upset Moore afterwards.

Moore added: “Even though we were a disgrace as a football team in the first-half we got away with it.

“Strong words were said at half-time but the players knew.

“They weren’t said in a screaming or shouting way.

“But the players knew they had been a disgrace in the way they had performed and they were very lucky to get away with it first-half, they knew that.

“Trevor [Carson] has made too many saves for the home keeper.”

* Meanwhile, the draw for the first round of the FA Cup will take place tonight.

Pools will be represented by ball number 22 in the draw. It will be screened live on BBC2 Monday at 7pm.

When asked if Moore fancied a home or away tie, the ex-Tranmere Rovers boss said: “I can tell you the draw now, we’ll probably get Tranmere away knowing my luck!”