Ronnie Moore has fired a warning shot to those Hartlepool United players who “think they are better than they are”.
Pools were humbled 4-0 on home soil by League One side Scunthorpe United last night, the club’s first defeat of pre-season.
I learned about one or two, for sure. The fact is, they wouldn’t be with me at Hartlepool if they were brilliant.Ronnie Moore
Moore’s side were second best all over the pitch and the scoreline could have been worse.
Paddy Madden netted a hat-trick, while ex-Pools loanee Luke Williams scored direct from a free-kick as Pools tasted defeat in their first home friendly.
Moore has urged his side to learn quickly from the loss – and he admits defeat brought some of his players back down to earth with a bump.
“I was a glad in a way because one or two of them are becoming too big for their boots,” said an unhappy Moore.
“They think they are better than they are and this has brought one or two back down to earth.
“We can’t defend the way we did, Scunthorpe are a good side.
“Everything was too easy and the first goal was far too easy.
“Then we conceded a stupid free-kick, which the keeper tried to read but mis-read it, and then they scored again from an awful back pass.
“We were lucky it wasn’t a league game.
“But as long as they learn from it, then you don’t mind taking a battering – as long as they learn from it.
“We had an absolutely awful defensive record last season, we don’t want that again. Have they learned? Hopefully.
“I don’t want to scream and shout in pre-season.
“I hope they have taken what I said, in a calm way, on board.”
Moore was keen to stress it is the first time that team had played together, with Pools again lining up in a 3-5-2 formation.
But he was adamant he wasn’t going to make any excuses, Moore unhappy with the slack forward play and defensively labelling his side a “shambles”.
Next up for Pools is an away trip to Gateshead on Saturday.
Moore added: “People are starting to believe one or two things that are written about them – that they are good players.
“They have to get back down to earth and do the right things.
“Two of the goals we just gave away.
“I learned about one or two, for sure. The fact is, they wouldn’t be with me at Hartlepool if they were brilliant.
“If they were as good as they think they are they wouldn’t be playing here.
“But there is plenty of time to get it right and Gateshead will be a nice test to see how we handle coming back from this.”