Ronnie Moore says he needs his players to be scoring “sevens” and “eights” if Hartlepool United are going to get results against the top sides in League Two, writes Roy Kelly.
Moore takes Pools to Accrington Stanley tonight – probably the hardest match going in the division at this time.
We didn’t get that at Mansfield and if you don’t have it, you don’t win games.
Stanley are on fire under John Coleman, winning four of their last five and scoring 12 times in the process.
Moore’s fellow Scouser has got the unfashionable Lancashire club within two points of the automatic places and they start short-priced favourites this evening at the Crown Ground.
The Pools boss disagreed with the assertion that the Pools perhaps had got a little ahead of themselves after beating Leyton Orient in front of the TV cameras at Victoria Park.
Pools then followed that up by losing 3-1 at Mansfield, where the player marks dropped to sixes, fives and fours.
“We’re not good enough to think we are better than we are,” Moore told SportMail.
“We need to have seven and eights every game, every player.
“We didn’t get that at Mansfield and if you don’t have it, you don’t win games.”
While Pools are up against it this evening, it’s not a mission impossible – Accrington concede goals.
But Pools will need to up their game considerably from Saturday if they are to gain a favourable result.
“There are no easy games, we knew that, starting with Orient,” said the manager
“Saturday was harder than it should have been, I think Mansfield were there to be beaten.
“They are a good side but the way we played second-half, I think maybe flattered them a bit.
“All we had to do was up the tempo 15 per cent, get at their back four and get crosses into the box.
“Instead we went the other way - we defended too deep and the ball didn’t stick up top.
“The strikers have to do better, it kept coming back from Bings and Mandron.
“It gave us a problem and we ended up back on the edge of our box.
“The first half I thought it was one of our better away performances from what we have had of late.
“But then you have to knock it on a level.”
And Moore re-iterated his demand that should Pools be unable to get all three points they must try to get at least a draw.
“While we are in the game, don’t lose it,” he said.
“A point would have done on Saturday, you have to pick up points on the road otherwise you end up looking over your shoulder.’’
Moore hopes to have Michael Duckworth fit tonight and the right-back would be a straight swap for Scott Harrison, who filled in there at Field Mill.
The boss has the option of bringing Scott Fenwick into the starting XI up front while Kal Naismith could be switched to the left with Rhys Oates returning on the right.
Pools (probable): Carson, Duckworth, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Oates, Gray, Magnay (capt), Naismith, Fenwick, Bingham.
Subs (from): Bartlett, Harrison, Jones, Featherstone, Walker, Oyenuga, Mandron, Smith