Moore: Games don’t come much bigger than Hartlepool’s trip to relegation rivals Tranmere

BIG GAME: Ronnie Moore.
BIG GAME: Ronnie Moore.

RONNIE Moore insists games don’t come much bigger than Hartlepool United’s trip to relegation rivals Tranmere Rovers this weekend.

But it is one the Pools boss believes they can win and kick-start their survival bid.

Pools travel to Moore’s old stomping ground Prenton Park looking to close the nine point gap to safety in Sky Bet League Two against third-bottom Rovers.

Moore, who was sacked by Tranmere in April after breaching betting rules, knows it is a massive game for him and the club and one they cannot afford to lose.

Micky Adams’ side comfortably saw off Accrington Stanley 3-0 on Saturday to climb out of the drop zone, while Pools were on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town.

It has left Pools cast adrift and the gap is effectively 10 points with the shocking goal difference of -28, which took another hammering against the Shrews.

Moore told SportMail: “Games don’t come much bigger than this weekend, for myself and the club.

“They have won easily at the weekend but I think if we turn up at Prenton Park and play like we did first half against Shrewsbury then I think we will be too good for them.

“We have another full week on the training ground to work on things as well, which is good for us.”

Before being appointed as Paul Murray’s successor back in mid-December, 61-year-old Moore had been out of work for eight months after being axed by Rovers for breaching betting rules.

The former striker was fined £2,000 and given a one-month suspension, suspended for two years, after he admitted an FA charge relating to betting on competitions and matches in which his club was involved.

Moore broke the rules after placing bets for family members from his account, which on one occasion included a £1 stake on Tranmere to win in a double with Manchester United, which returned less than £4.

After Moore left, Rovers went on to be relegated into Sky Bet League Two and in an ironic twist of fate are now battling with Pools to stay up.

Experienced Moore will be hoping his side can produce a more consistent display against his former side than the one they managed against the Shrews.

Despite a promising first half display at Greenhous Meadow, Pools collapsed after the break in all too familiar fashion, conceding three goals as they slumped to their 17th league defeat of the campaign.

Moore added: “Second half against Shrewsbury I was disappointed we didn’t get the wingers into the game more.

“If you are going to play with wingers then you have to have possession of the ball but we were sloppy in certain areas.

“There was some good performances from the younger lads though and I thought Tish {Reading loanee Aaron Tshibola] kept having a go.

“He got a bit showboaty towards the end and that is what the young kids do because they are inexperienced.

“But Shrewsbury have a vast amount of experience in their squad and I don’t think we’ll come up against a tougher team this season.”

* POOLS have been given an initial allocation of 100 tickets for the match at Prenton Park on Saturday.

Tickets are currently on sale from the Victoria Park ticket office, in Clarence Road.

Prices are adults £15, seniors (65 and over) £9, young persons (17-22) £9 and U-17s £6.

Tickets for adults and U-17s will be available on the turnstiles at Prenton Park on the day of the game, but for other categories fans must go to Rovers’ ticket office.

Disabled supporters can buy tickets for £6 (carer free of charge) but these must be organised by contacting Tranmere Rovers direct on 0333 0144 452.