Accrington v Hartlepool United: Bristol Rovers loan man Ellis Harrison will start at Stanley

Ellis Harrison
Ellis Harrison

Ronnie Moore admits he faces one of his toughest jobs as a manager tonight – telling a player he is being left out.

The Hartlepool United boss will bring in loan signing Ellis Harrison for his club at Accrington Stanley this evening (kick-off 7.45pm).

I feel Ellis could play with any of our forwards


Moore explained he had a heavy heart when he told Lewis Hawkins he would be making way for new boy Nathan Thomas against Wycombe at the weekend.

And his decision is made even trickier tonight given Pools defeated the high-fliers 1-0. Of course, the 21-year-old has not left the Bristol Rovers bench to be a sub at Pools.

But Moore told SportMail that while Harrison will start at the Crown Ground, he is NOT guaranteed an automatic place in the XI.

“He will play tonight,” confirmed the Pools chief.

“If he does all right he’ll keep his place, but I’m not going to be held to ransom.

“I’ve had it before as a manager when a player comes in on loan.

“It’s up to him, he has to produce to stay in the team.

“But I think it’s good for the club and the team to have got him, it puts more pressutre on the other strikers to perform.

“I feel Ellis could play with any of our forwards.

“He brings a bit of added pace and an eye for goal, I’m confident he will help move us forward - I’m delighted we got him.

“Ellis can play up front, play as a wide man or as a number 10.

“He’ll fit into 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. He gives us options which is great.

“I have a decision to make tonight but sometimes as a manager you have to go with your gut feeling.

“It was awful telling Hawks last week that I was leaving him out.

“We brought back from his loan at Spennymoor and he played ever so well against Derby and was the man of the match.

“To be fair to Hawks, he took it very well and was a good professional about it.

“Picking Nathan was the right decision, you could see on Saturday he gave us something we’d not really had, he didn’t just make the goal, he was a threat.

“This decision is even harder because we beat Wycombe and unfortunately someone will miss out.”

Moore though believes the arrival of the Wales U21 striker has been welcomed by the Pools squad.

“I think the lads understand and appreciate what we are trying to do here,” he said.

“We are trying to make us a better and stronger squad.”

It is hard to try to second-guess Moore in terms of team selection this evening.

Every player contributed though if Thomas’s calf remains sore after coming off on Saturday, Moore may not risk starting him, meaning Harrison could form part of an advanced three with Scott Fenwick and Rhys Oates.