Ronnie Moore wants Hartlepool United to close the door on ‘the class of 92’, writes Roy Kelly.
The five legends of Manchester United who co-own Salford City have loomed large over not only the FA Cup but football in general as the story of the non-league club contuinues to grow.
We need to try to do to them what Portsmouth did to us.
Salford have been big news since Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville and Paul Scholes took stakes at Moor Lane.
Not surprisingly, they have been major talking points but Moore re-iterated that, unless they pull their boots back on, they cannot cause his players any problems tonight.
“It should not affect them,” said Moore. “They are professional footballers.
“I’ve reminded them they are not playing the Class of 92.
“Some of them were there [at the first match] but they can’t influence the game.
“It’s about what we do.”
Moore is looking for a reaction from Pools after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Fratton Park.
Portsmouth, perhaps not surprisingly, looked a cut above Pools, though Salford are 52 places below Pools unlike Pompey who are 16 spots above them.
Moore believes getting possession and retaining it will be the key.
“Keep the ball,” is the demand by Moore for tonight’s tie.
“Portsmouth are a good side so when you give it away you don’t often get it back very quickly.
“We’re wanting to play it the right way, we’re trying to get the ball down and pass.
“But if you give it away you are going to be in trouble against sides like this.”
However, Moore, for all the respect and admiration he has for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley and the job they have done at the Manchester club, he acknowledges Salford are no Pompey.
“It will be blood and guts.
“Salford won’t keep the ball like these did.
“We need to try to do to them what Portsmouth did to us.
“We need to get on the ball, be sharp, get players who want to hit the net.”
Moore must decide whether to stick with the side and formation which started at Fratton Park - or the one which finished, Pools having played the second half in a 4-4-2 system.
Mikael Mandron is a potential starter after making a good response at Portsmouth following his display at Salford.
Michael Woods is also fit to play after recovering from a dead leg and could figure in midfield though it would be difficult imagining Moore leaving out Carl Magnay, Jake Gray or Nicky Fetherstone.
Pools (probable): Carson, Duckworth, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray, Magnay, Fenwick, Oates, Bingham
Subs (from): Bartlett, Richards, Harrison, Jones, Woods, Walker, Smith, Mandron,