The Hartlepool United squad won’t be given a day off this week as boss Ronnie Moore looks for a “massive” improvement from his players.
Heavy back-to-back friendly defeats to Scunthorpe United and Gateshead have left Moore frustrated, with the new League Two campaign kicking off a week on Saturday.
I am looking for a massive improvement this week.Ronnie Moore
As a result, the players will be training hard all week at Maiden Castle, in Durham, with a strong team set to play Northern League side Dunston UTS on Wednesday night.
The youngsters were originally pencilled in for that tie but the manner of the 5-3 defeat to National League side Heed resulted in a change of mind for Moore, unhappy with his side’s defending.
Pools then host League One Chesterfield at Victoria Park on Saturday, the final friendly of a busy pre-season programme.
“I am looking for a massive improvement this week,” Moore told SportMail.
“If we play the same way against Chesterfield we are going to get battered.
“There will be no days off.
“We need to get this back three right.
“We know defending starts up front but that was nothing to do with the goals conceded against Gateshead.
“The goals were all through the centre of our defence, or a lot of them.
“They were bad, bad goals to concede.”
Moore has highlighted last season’s player of the year Scott Harrison as one player in need of a confidence boost.
Against Heed, Harrison was playing alongside Dan Jones and summer signing Harry Worley, who joined from Stevenage.
Moore thought Worley - who suffered a knock on the head thanks to teammate Harrison - did ‘reasonably well’ first-half but admits the back three needs a lot of work.
“Big H did well first half and dominated after the bang on the head,” added Moore.
“He won an awful lot of headers, that is all I want from a centre back.
“He did reasonably well first half but the three of them were all over the place at times.”