Ronnie factor persuades Cambridge’s Ryan Bird to move to Hartlepool United

THANKS PAL: Boss Ronnie Moore thanks Ryan Bird for his goal during their 1-0 victory against Wimbledon.  Picture by FRANK REID
THANKS PAL: Boss Ronnie Moore thanks Ryan Bird for his goal during their 1-0 victory against Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

RYAN Bird admits he had to think twice before moving to Hartlepool United – but insists he was always keen to work under Ronnie Moore.

The 27-year-old flew the nest at Cambridge United to head north on a month-long loan deal at The Victoria Park outfit at the end of last month.

I spoke with Micky Nelson at Cambridge, he is a great defender and great lad.

Pools striker Ryan Bird

And he made an instant impact, scoring the winner on his debut in the 1-0 win over Wimbledon last weekend.

Pools followed that up with a disappointing 2-0 midweek defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge to leave the club seven points from third bottom and safety.

Bird admits the distance from home and Pools’ current plight did make him think twice before moving north.

But the lure of playing under experienced Moore proved too strong, that and a few words of encouragement from ex-Pools defender Michael Nelson.

Gateshead-born Nelson played 306 games for Pools between 2003 and 2009.

“I did think about moving here, it is 280-miles from home for me but I was always open to it,” Slough-born Bird told SportMail.

“If Hartlepool wasn’t such a big club then I might not have come but Hartlepool is a massive club and I wanted to come here.

“I spoke with Ronnie a few times and it was going to happen the week before but it fell through no fault of mine or his.

“I also spoke to a few players who have played under the manager before.

“They told me he is a great manager and to go up there and do your business.”

Bird certainly did that on debut, twisting his body from close range to net the winner against Dons.

Though he, like the rest of the team, struggled against the Daggers at Victoria Road ahead of the visit of Burton Albion tomorrow.

The striker, who has also played league football with Portsmouth, admits he was surprised to see Pools struggling so badly, having played against them and been impressed in the past.

He added: “Last year when I played against Pools at Victoria Park they battered us and they were such a good team – I couldn’t believe they were down there.

“The lads are good here and team spirit helps a lot.

“I spoke with Micky Nelson at Cambridge too, a former Pools defender of course and a great lad.

“He gave me some good advice about coming here.

“I spoke to Micky a few times and he only lives half an hour away.”