RONNIE Moore was pleased to see his Hartlepool United side battle back for a point against Mansfield after a “disgraceful” first-half showing.
The Pools boss was left fuming at the break as his struggling side went in trailing to a 10th-minute Junior Brown strike.
He likened his side’s performance to that of a pub team and left them under no illusions as to how bad they had been.
Whatever the Pools boss said worked as they came out a team transformed and grabbed a deserved equaliser through Michael Duckworth’s 51st minute strike.
The point left Pools seven points adrift of safety ahead of the visit of Morecambe to Victoria Park tomorrow.
“It was a battling performance second-half but the first was a disgrace, I thought,” said Moore.
“I said to them we are trying to win games and you cannot show fear yet we gave away 45 minutes and a goal start.
“First half everything was long and straight – I have never told them to do that.
“It is just nerves and fear that have set in.
“At times we looked like a pub team.
“It was almost as bad as the game at Burton Albion but thankfully we didn’t fold as much like we did then.
“I shouldn’t have to have a go at them at half-time to get them going.
“They should be self motivated.
“We had 400-plus supporters who had travelled down here and paid good money, at least give them something to cheer.
“If you go down, at least go down fighting and have a go – do not just self-destruct.
“They know now that they can perform like they did in the second-half and they need to do that in the next couple of games.”
Moore said he wouldn’t reveal what he said at half-time, just that it wasn’t “very nice” as he made it clear the players had let themselves down.
But he was pleased with their response.
He added: “We were non-existent first half.
“You could see why we are in this mess, you cannot have a lacklustre performance like that away from home.
“We had worked really hard in training this week and were hoping to come here and win the game.
“But they showed a bit of desire and belief second-half.
“Jonathan Franks got on the ball and showed a bit, we hadn’t seen him first half. He can be a matchwinner, picking balls up and driving at people.
“Players who can play should go out and express themselves.
“Jonathan did that second-half, Marlon [Harewood] started to hold the ball up and then all of a sudden it looks brighter.
“I thought we defended well – they are a massive side but we did well at set pieces and got a little bit of luck.
“We need that second-half performance for the full 90 minutes and without that we will not get out of the mess we are in.”
– RICHARD MENNEAR