Embarrassed Hartlepool midfielder demands much more

Tommy Miller in action against Accrington Stanley.
Tommy Miller in action against Accrington Stanley.

EMBARRASSED Tommy Miller admits the Hartlepool United squad are playing for their futures.

The 35-year-old said the performance in the 3-1 defeat to Accrington Stanley last night was nowhere near good enough.

Miller, who re-signed for the club in the summer, said caretaker boss Sam Collins had done all he could to prepare the team properly But he admitted it is frustrating the players are not doing it on the pitch come match days.

“Everyone has to give more,” said Miller.

“We can’t afford mistakes, we have to give it our lot. We are playing for our futures.

“If a new manager does come in they might want to bring in five or six.

“Sam, I’m sure, will be looking to bring in players as well, because there is no doubt about it we need strengthening.”

Pools managed to get themselves back in the game just before half-time, Matthew Bates cancelling out Shay McCartan’s opener for Stanley. But Rob Atkinson was allowed a free header moments before the break to put the home side back in front.

Miller admitted that goal proved crucial, as it deflated the Pools camp.

He added: “We are losing football matches and it is a terrible feeling that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

“It is so frustrating, there was nothing in the game but we are conceding bad goals and it is embarrassing, to be fair.

“It isn’t just the defenders either, it is right the way through the team and we all need to do better. To go 2-1 down in the way that we did, isn’t good enough. A free header from a set piece, it deflated us.”

Pools improved after in the second-half, with the introduction of 20-year-old loan signing Matt Crooks, but Stanley got the crucial third to kill the game.

Miller added: “We pushed forward and pressed in the second-half but we have to have more quality.

“Young Crooks has come on and we are knocking big balls up to him but that was playing into the hands of their defenders.

“They then got the third goal, which killed us off, and that was another goal that should have been avoided.

“Sam has prepared the team, he did everything right and can’t have done any more.

“Training had gone well but we have to perform come match day and we are not.

“Hence the reason we are losing matches, it is not good enough.”