Hartlepool United have got to become harder to beat and more ruthless, admits star midfielder

Michael Woods chasing down the ball
Michael Woods chasing down the ball

Michael Woods revealed “harsh words” were said in the Hartlepool United dressing room after the second-half collapse against Luton Town.

Pools fell behind early on to a Jonathan Smith goal but dominated the first half and eventually drew level through Billy Paynter’s close range header just before half-time.

Michael Woods passes ball forward. Picture By Joe Spence

Michael Woods passes ball forward. Picture By Joe Spence

Ronnie Moore’s side looked well placed to go on and claim all three points at Victoria Park but a second-half defensive horror show resulted in back-to-back home defeats for Pools.

And midfield schemer Woods, who was back in the starting line-up, admitted strong words were said after the final whistle.

Woods admitted: “We had some harsh words in the dressing room to be honest .

“What happened in the two boxes was the difference – they took their chances, we didn’t take ours.

I felt first-half we were always a threat and in the game

MICHAEL WOODS

“Defending was poor all game from both teams and not just as a back four. We created enough chances to see the game end seven-all.

“We started bright and they scored against the run of play, got back into it and then we gave away two goals in four minutes and their keeper pulled off some great saves.”

Moore admitted he was “gobsmacked” his side came away with a heavy defeat after dominating the opening half of the game.

And Woods admits 17th-placed Pools have got to become harder to beat if they are to kick their season back into gear quickly.

The ex-Leeds United and Chelsea youth has also backed striker Rakish Bingham - who missed several chances against the Hatters - to find his goalscoring boots soon.

“I felt first-half we were always a threat and in the game,” added Woods.

“We conceded sloppy goals, as a team we have to be harder to beat and be more ruthless in both boxes.

“One goes in for Bings and the floodgates open – one off his shin and he’s on his way.

“He gets in great positions with his pace.

“Goals make all the difference.”