Hartlepool United’s Ronnie Moore glad to keep hold of three key players until New Year

Jake Gray.
Jake Gray.
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Ronnie Moore is happy to have kept three of his loan players at Hartlepool United until the new year.

The Pools boss clinched the extension of Crystal Palace midfielder Jake Gray for an extra month.

It’s fantastic that we’ve kept him.

It means Gray, wide midfielder Kal Naismith and striker Mikael Mandron will all remain at Victoria Park until January 3.

Moore said last week that Palace boss Alan Pardew and Eagles youth liaison man, Mark Bright, were in favour of Gray staying for a further month.

The deal has been secured with Gray and Mandron both available for the FA Cup trip to Salford City on Friday, December 4.

Naismith is cup-tied, having played for Portsmouth in the first round, while he will not be allowed to play against Pompey at Fratton Park on December 12.

And Moore is thrilled to have confirmed the deal for Gray.

Gray has made three appearances so far, the highlight being him scoring two second-half goals in the televised 3-1 win over Leyton Orient.

After the win over the O’s Gray told SportMail he was willing to stay for as long as Moore wanted him to.

Moore said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve kept him.

“Jake’s been very loyal because there has been a lot of interest in him since the Leyton Orient game.

“To be fair to him, he said he wanted to stay at Hartlepool.

“Hopefully he can develop here with us.

“I know he’s enjoyed his time with the club so far.

“I am sure he will continue to gain from playing regular senior football and I would like to thank Crystal Palace for allowing us to extend the loan.”

Moore did not reveal what his line-up would have been in last night’s postponed match at Accrington Stanley, but explained that there would have been an extra man in midfield.

“It would have been nice to see what he’d have been like in a midfield with an extra body in there with scope for him to get forward a little bit more.”

Pools play host to Oxford United on Saturday and it will be intriguing to see if Moore takes the formation he was prepared to start with at Accrington.