Hartlepool United-Carlisle: Get the ball to Padraig Amond

Padraig Amond celebrates scoring at Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID
Padraig Amond celebrates scoring at Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United need to find their goal touch in the end-of-season run-in.

So says boss Dave Jones, who adds that they must also get the “right service” to main marksman Padraig Amond.

Pools are far from being shy in the goal stakes - they lead the way among the teams at the wrong end of the League Two table.

Indeed, they went into today’s Good Friday showdown with Carlisle United at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium as joint top scorers in the bottom half of the table (kick-off 3pm).

Only three goals have come in the last five matches - from Michael Woods, Lewis Alessandra and Amond.

To Amond’s credit he had assists for the Woods and Alessandra goals and Jones knows they have to feed their 14-goal striker.

“We aren’t prolific scorers,” said the manager.

“Podge [Amond] is a goalscorer, but you have to give him the right service.

“Sometimes we just lack that little bit of quality at the times when it’s needed.

“We do work on that all the time for the players to get better so that service gets better as we go along.”

Jones was frustrated that Pools could have had three points last Saturday at Morecambe but, for all they got into some great areas, they only beat Dani Vizic once.

“Saturday was hard to take after the way we dominated the opening 45 minutes,” he said.

“There were chances we created and didn’t stick away.

“To dominate the opening half in the manner we did and not put the game to bed is a bit disappointing.

“You’d have to say any point away is a good point but really we should have three points, but we’ll go again against Carlisle.”

Jones though admitted there remains great frustration that they could have taken the spoils had referee Andy Haines awarded an injury-time spot-kick for a Morecambe handball.

“We were disappointed not to get a penalty towards the end, it was clear-cut, I’ve watched it back,” said the boss.

“But these things happen in football and you have to get on with it.”

Jones explained how he has tried not to wield the big stick with his squad, who he says are listening and learning.

However, he admits his players must show better game-management.

“I had a moan at them on Saturday,” he said. “We were one up at half-time.

“You try to say to them ‘they’ll be getting an absolute rollicking from the manager’ because Morecambe had been totally out-played.

“You know they are going to come out and scrap – they are fighting for their lives as well.

“I just don’t think we dealt with that as well as we could have.

“We could have cleared our lines better, it’s that decision-making at vital times [which has been costly].

“Some teams get away with it bit we’re not getting away with it at the moment.”