Hartlepool United ordered to shoot on sight in battle for survival

Padraig Amond scores against Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID
Padraig Amond scores against Crewe. Picture by FRANK REID

Dave Jones will send out a “Shoot on sight” order to his Hartlepool United players.

Pools need points to stay in the Football League and goals.

We are also getting into good crossing positions then not picking out the right pass

DAVE JONES

They are not short of men to get them – Padraig Amond has 13 and Lewis Alessandra and Nathan Thomas nine apiece.

But Jones is demanding more shots from his players after getting near the Portsmouth box on Saturday without stretching keeper David Forde.

He did not have a save to make though he was beaten early in the second half only for Thomas’s shot to hit the post.

“We need that cutting edge,” said Jones, who takes his team to Morecambe this Saturday.

“We have again been in some really good positions, but we are trying to score the perfect goal.

“Three occasions in the first-half [against Portsmouth] we are on the edge of their box, but why don’t we shoot?

“Twice the ball runs through to the goalkeeper and once it’s cut out, but we could shoot there.

“When you do that there is a chance you can get ricochets, whatever .

“We are not shooting!

“We are also getting into good crossing positions then not picking out the right pass.

“Joe (Fryer) hasn’t had a lot to do – but neither has David Forde.

“Both teams showed they can keep the ball and play, but Portsmouth had the cutting edge.”

Pools went down 2-0 to the promotion favourites at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium but says every team, including Pompey, are “beatable”.

However, he says if Pools are to score goals and win games – and it looks as though they will need at least two victories – they must pull the trigger.

“Were they beatable?” said Jones. “Of course they were.

“We had positions to do that.

“When on top, like last Saturday at Blackpool and against Wycombe the week before, you have to put the ball in the back of the net.

“When Portsmouth scored for the 10 minutes after it was hard to get the ball off them – they were relaxed and their game was flowing.

“But when we scored at Blackpool we didn’t do that, we kept giving it away in the middle of the park.”

The one positive for Jones is that Pools have proved they can score goals – no side near the bottom have found the net as often.