Ronnie Moore wants to see Hartlepool United get it right at both ends

Scott Harrison in action for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Scott Harrison in action for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth. Picture by FRANK REID

Getting it right at both ends of the field could not be more crucial for Hartlepool United than at Wycombe tomorrow.

Pools have created chances in every game this season, they even had several good sights of goal in the 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Bournemouth.

But opportunities tomorrow at Adams Park could be at a premium (kick-off 3pm).

Wycombe are not only unbeaten – they have conceded only once in League Two this season, when Dagenham & Redbridge claimed a shock draw.

Moore knows chances will need to be taken, but insists Pools must be strong at the back before thinking about anything else, with central defenders Harry Worley and Scott Harrison key men. “It’s about getting the basics right,” said Moore.

“I don’t want the centre-backs to be Bobby Moore, I want them to head it, be physical, let the forward know you’re there.

“I think we will score goals, but I thought we’d cleared up the ones we used to concede.

“We had three clean sheets in the first four matches and we thought ‘here we go, we’ve cracked it’.

“But we’ve gone back a little bit to how we were last season.

“If you don’t keep clean sheets, you don’t win games.

“It’s all about winning that first ball.

“We need our two centre-backs to be dominant in those areas because a lot of teams at our level play percentage football.

“Teams hoof it, get the ball over the top, make the defender kick it out and then bring all the giants up for the throw-in.

“If we can’t cope with that then we are going to struggle this season because there are a lot of big teams in this division.

“As a back four, we need to be strong, but against Carlisle we weren’t and were found wanting.”

Moore is a fan of Gareth Ainsworth and the transformation he has made with the Chairboys.

After almost getting relegated in 20-13-14, Wycombe lost just eight of their 46 games last season, but were the division’s draw specialists, half finishing as draws.

Had they converted just one draw into a win they’d have gone up automatically, but ended up in the play-offs, losing in the final to Southend at Wembley on penalties.

Unlike many teams who suffer a post-Wembley hangover, Wycombe have made a strong start, losing just one of their first five matches.

But the most impressive stat is the fact they have conceded just one league goal.

“Last year, Gareth did fantastically well on the budget he has,” said Moore. “I said last year they are a benchmark for us.

“They have started this year well and it will be hard, but there are no easy games, it doesn’t matter who you are playing.

“But they have good players who can play the system they have there.

“At times they play, but there are times they will put it in there.”