Ronnie Moore unhappy at Hartlepool United collapse

Luton score past Adam Bartlett. Picture by Joe Spence
Luton score past Adam Bartlett. Picture by Joe Spence

Hartlepool United’s ongoing defensive frailties are an increasing worry for Ronnie Moore.

And the Pools manager has called on his side to get “back to basics” ahead of a double-header away from home.

Seven goals in a week at home? That’s the worrying thing for us


Pools face tricky away days at Northampton Town and Dagenham & Redbridge over the coming couple of weeks as they look to bounce back from consecutive home defeats in League Two.

Moore was again left angry with his side’s defending in the defeat to John Still’s Luton Town.

And, as a result, the squad were hauled in for an extra training session at Maiden Castle yesterday in a bid to cut out the defensive howlers once and for all.

The Luton defeat capped an awful week on home soil, with the defence conceding three against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.

Seven goals - six of which were avoidable - has left Moore increasingly concerned about his back four.

And while he admits he was dumbfounded as to how his Pools side lost the League Two clash at Victoria Park, given his side had dominated the opening 45 minutes, he wants to see a sharp improvement.

Moore said: “I don’t know how we lost – football can be cruel.

“We had the first chance after four minutes, score and it’s different.

“We got in behind them, got on the front foot and it was cruel to be one-down but we got level with a good ball in, good finish.

“But I don’t think anyone in the ground saw [the second half display] coming.

“We defended sloppily – a long ball from the back catches us flat and they score then we miss a cross completely and the lad taps it in.

“The fourth one is a good finish but we didn’t defend it well enough in the build-up.

“Seven goals in a week at home? That’s the worrying thing for us.

“We have to get back to basics again – working and working and working.

“It’s not one person all the time, it’s different players all the time and it’s difficult to take one out and put others in.

“It’s very frustrating but we cannot keep giving the opposition the chances we are giving them.”

Pools carved out several openings in the opening 45 minutes, with Rakish Bingham and Rhys Oates both guilty of missing good chances.

Bingham missed further gilt-edged opportunities after the break.

And Pools were made to pay with two quick-fire goals from Jack Marriott and a late stunner from Ollie Lee condemning them to another defeat.

“If anyone wasn’t here they see 4-1 and think we were battered – yet I’m gobsmacked,” added Moore.

“They defended better when they had to, but we had clear cut chances.

“Really good chances and it’s not gone for us, when you don’t score yourselves, keep the other end tight or you are in trouble.

“Defend better and it can be 1-1 – instead we are 2-1 down from a nothing ball and it gets frustrating for everyone.

“It’s been a good away win last week then two tough games, Tuesday was different to this one – they were energetic and enthusiastic.

“But if you don’t take chances and then you can’t defend and it’s costly.”

l Match analysis and ratings: See Centre Pages