RONNIE Moore believes the Hartlepool United job is as tough as any in English football.
But the experienced 62-year-old insists he was “very lucky” to be handed the task of keeping Pools in the Football League, something the club achieved with a game to spare.
Moore has rightly taken a lot of plaudits since Pools clawed back a 10-point deficit to seal safety with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Exeter City. But the modest manager says the players – and his backroom staff – must take their share of the credit after sealing a remarkable turnaround.
“It’s been a tough job here, very tough,” said Moore, ahead of today’s final match of the season at Carlisle United.
“As hard as a job can be but I was out of work and I was very lucky to get an opportunity here.
“We were seven points adrift and then soon nine and 10 and then you start to wonder if it’s really going to happen.
“But you have to thank the players and staff for their efforts in the achievement.’’
The Pools squad could have been forgiven for giving up hope that the Great Escape was achievable given they were 10-points adrift at the start of March.
But four straight wins in the following weeks propelled Pools out of the drop zone never to return.
And Moore says for that, the players deserve a lot of credit for the character and nerve they showed in the final weeks of the campaign.
He added: “The scenes last weekend when we stayed up were incredible.
“The emotions and feelings from the fans were immense, you could see what it meant to everyone and for me it is up there with the biggest things I’ve achieved, as high as it can be.
“Keeping Rotherham in the Championship for four years, I didn’t think it could be bettered but to come here, to see what we had to deal with, and achieve what we set out to achieve is brilliant.
“But it’s not about me – it’s down to the backroom staff too, every one of them have played their part and most importantly it’s the players who have done it.
“The players got us in this mess in the first place, but they got us out of it too.
“The loan players have all made an impression and changed the mentality of the players who were already here.
“I’m the manager, so I get the pats on the back, but it’s down to the players.”
l Pools take on Carlisle United in the final game of the Sky Bet League Two season and you can follow the action live via @RichMennearJP on Twitter.
Visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk for team news, a full-time whistle match report and reaction from Hartlepool United’s trip to Brunton Park.