Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore wants Pools to progress in FA Cup

Ronnie MooreRonnie Moore
Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore wasn’t at Hartlepool United when the club suffered the humiliation of an FA Cup upset at the hands of Blyth Spartans live on BBC TV.

But the Pools boss does not want to see his side on the list of clubs eliminated by non-league opposition tomorrow in the first round when Cheltenham Town come to Victoria Park (kick-off 3pm).

In truth, a defeat to Gary Johnson’s side who have lost only twice all season and stand second in the National League would not come as much of a surprise – especially given Pools last home win was back on August 18.

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However, Moore is looking to see his out-of-sorts side “dig deep” against the Robins, who are unbeaten in eight league and cup matches.

“All the pressure’s on us. People think we’re the league club, we’re at home, we’re going to win.

“But we know what the FA Cup is about.

“We need to go out and play, more than anything else it’s about what we do.

“If we perform as we can, there’s no reason why we can’t win.

“I’ve not spoken about Blyth, I wasn’t here then.

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“We’ve just got to make sure that we’re not another on the list that loses to a non-league team, albeit the top half of the Conference.

“There’s not much difference between the Conference and League Two.

“We know we’ve got a game on our hands.

“They will come and give it a go, there is no doubt about that.

“Our chief scout went to watch their win at Grimsby and me and Sam went to watch their replay against Havant & Waterlooville.

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“We know its going to be a helluva game. Gary has done a great job changing their club around, bringing in a lot of players who’ve all gelled.”

After a run of eight league and cup games without a victory at the Vic, Moore is not concerned how they get over the winning line, as long as they do.

The players will wear their ‘Poppy shirt’ tomorrow as the club raise money for the British Legion ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

“I’m not too bothered about the performance now, it’s about winning,” he said. “We’re at a stage where we need to dig deep.

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“Our couple of new faces will help but whoever the 11 are tomorrow, they just need to go out and play with a bit of pride and passion.

“This is the FA Cup – if that doesn’t lift you, I don’t know what does.

“The fans want to see us go as far as we can.”

It will not just be the fans and management looking for any sort of run in the world’s most famous club competition.

A win or two would provide vital finance with the chance of a third-round windfall should they get one of England’s big boys.

“It’s nice to go as far as you can in the cup,” said Moore.

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“If you can make it through, pick up a home draw in the second round and get though that then you are in the third round when a lot of big clubs come into it.

“I know Gary Johnson will be saying the same thing to his players, but it’s so important we turn up for this game.”