Duckworth happy to be back for Hartlepool

Michael Duckworth in action against Southend United. Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Duckworth in action against Southend United. Picture by FRANK REID

MICHAEL Duckworth admits it is a relief to be back fit after a frustrating spell on the sidelines as he looks to impress new boss Ronnie Moore.

The 22-year-old was out injured with a groin injury when experienced Moore was handed the tough task of saving Hartlepool United from relegation.

Duckworth has since returned to the starting line-up and has been pushed further up the field from his usual berth at right-back.

German-born Duckworth’s natural game is to bomb forward from the full-back position.

While he freely admits right-wing isn’t his favoured position he is just happy to be back playing under Moore.

“I don’t enjoy [right wing] as much as I do playing right back,” Duckworth told SportMail.

“I do prefer playing right back but if I am in the team to do a job then I will do it.

“Towards the end of the Mansfield match on Boxing Day I had tired legs having been out for a few weeks and I am just looking to find my form again.

“It has been a very frustrating time for me being out injured with the new gaffer coming in.

“It has been hard for me to say to him when he first arrived that I wasn’t fit, especially when you need to impress and establish yourself in the team.

“Now I just need to kick-on again.”

Since Moore has taken charge at Victoria Park, Pools have drawn with Oxford United and Mansfield Town before going down 2-0 to Morecambe on Sunday.

Duckworth made his return to the starting line-up in the Boxing Day match at Mansfield and he said the players should be aiming to produce more displays like the second half there.

Pools, eight points adrift at the foot of Sky Bet League Two, came back from 1-0 down to secure a deserved point.

But they need to string together wins if they are to pull off a miraculous escape from relegation.

Duckworth added: “There is only direction we can go from now but we need to be doing it sooner rather than later.

“At Mansfield we started putting in tackles, which we haven’t been doing all season.

“It is clear that side of our game needs to improve,” added Duckworth.

l POOLS have an allocation of 400 tickets for the Sky Bet League Two game at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Tickets will be available on the turnstiles at Adams Park prior to kick-off at the weekend.

Prices: Adults £20, seniors (60 and over) £16, young adults (19-25) £14, juniors (8-18) £11, under 7s £7.