RONNIE Moore believes his Hartlepool United players are finally starting to “enjoy” playing football for a living.
But the Pools manager admits he still wants to see more of his squad with a smile on their face as they battle against relegation.
Players should enjoy being a footballer, you should enjoy that – even at this levelRONNIE MOORE
Victory over Cambridge United, their fourth straight win, lifted Pools off the bottom of Sky Bet League Two for the first time in five months.
It capped a fine month for Moore’s squad and has put them in a strong position to survive relegation out of the Football League.
Ahead of today’s match at Newport County (KO 3pm), Moore has called on more of his players to enjoy the lifestyle that footballers enjoy
“The first thing they must do is to enjoy being a footballer,” Moore told SportMail.
“If you can’t enjoy coming in here and playing on a Saturday for an hour and a half – if you can’t enjoy that then go and work in Asda or years ago down the pit – to see what it is like to have a real job.
“One or two have grabbed it and they are starting to enjoy being footballers again.
“What a life they have!”
Moore admits the life of a footballer is “crackers” adding there is no other industry that employees would get their wages plus an appearance fee just for turning up.
He added: “My job is to make players run around for 90 minutes and if you do, you might get appearance money to go with your weekly wage, and if you’re a striker you might even get a bonus for scoring.
“Where else would you get that? Football is crackers.
“Players should enjoy being a footballer, you should enjoy that – even at this level.
“Some players here are on £200 a week, some of the kids, but their day will come and their wages will increase.
“They should still enjoy being a footballer because how many people out there want to be a footballer?
“I would love to be a footballer still and you should want to play for as long as you can.
“You see some of the faces in training, why? You’re a footballer!
“You might not be playing but you might be the week after.”
Moore is speaking from experience too having been out of work for eight months after breaching betting rules before getting the manager’s job at Victoria Park.
He admits the lift he received upon getting back into work was “unbelievable” and he has tried to instil that positivity into his players.
Moore added: “When you are out of work for as long as I was and then you get a job – the lift you get personally is unbelievable.
“The lift it gives you, you try and pass that on to the players you have got.
“You have to try and have a little bit of fun and not be too strict, but it is hard when you are getting beat week in, week out.
“There are times when you need to cuddle them and times when you need to use a size nine – I have tried every approach.”