Ronnie Moore insists Hartlepool United must “man up” or face the prospect of more disappointments.
The frustrated boss accused his team of showing a “soft centre” as Pools lost the lead twice at home to Carlisle United on Saturday en route to a 3-2 defeat.
We need to go back to the drawing board on defending set-plays.RONNIE MOORE
Moore said Pools allowed themselves to be bullied and cannot allow any repeat showings as they prepare for two demanding tests this week.
Pools host Sheffield Unitted in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy tomorrow night at Victoria Park before visiting in-form Wycombe on Saturday in League Two.
Moore was just frustrated by the fact his team lost at home in the league for the first time this season, it was the manner of the defeat.
“We have to man up, no doubt about it,” he said.
“These are the games you need men - we were too brittle at the back.
“Clean sheets are so important.
“We started the season with clean sheets but at this time now, we can’t buy one.
“We were bullied [on Saturday] and that’s the disappointing thing for me.
“We were on the back foot because we couldn’t win our headers.
“It reminded me of last season, when I first came here, giving goals away, teams not even having to work for them.
“I’d felt we got over that soft-centred period but we were soft.
“We need to go back to the drawing board on defending set-plays.”
Pools could easily have added to their goal tally on Saturday, so it’s not doom and gloom by any means - the side are having their fair share of chances.
But the fear for Moore is that Carlisle wasted several gilt-edged opportunities of their own.
“If we think Carlisle are physical, just wait til other sides come here, he said.
“Other teams will be bigger than them.
“Ibehre bullied us, we allowed him to push us back when it should be the other way round.
“Centre-halves should shove him, kick him, do what they need to do to push him back, not let him dominate.
“Every time they had a long throw, I thought they were going to score.
“We need people to be big and brave from long throws.
“If we don’t man up and do the right things then we will be in trouble.”