Ronnie Moore will leave it late to get Hartlepool United midfielder

Nicky Featherstone
Nicky Featherstone

Ronnie Moore is hoping for a repeat of Hartlepool United’s last trip to the capital – in more ways than one.

Pools grabbed a vital 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge in London two Saturdays ago.

If I get him, the new lad would come straight in


Moore did an excellent bit of business on the eve of their visit to the EastEnd when he signed towering defender, Magnus Okuonghae on a month’s loan from Luton.

And he hopes to arrive in South-West London to face Wimbledon tomorrow with a powerful midfielder in his squad.

The Pools boss would not name names, but admitted he hopes to add a player from a Sky Bet Championship club.

“If I get him, the new lad would come straight in,” he said. “But it’s looking like it’s going to be late again.We did that with Magnus.

“Why teams want to hold on and hold on, I don’t know.”

Moore was unhappy with his midfield against Crawley last Saturday – changing 50 per cent of it at half-time with Brad Walker and Jake Carroll withdrawn.

Pools are missing the physicality of Carl Magnay who is five games into a six-match FA ban. If Moore can get this Championship midfielder, he will partner either Nicky Featherstone or Michael Woods at Kingsmeadow.

“He’s got a presence, he’s a 6ft 4in centre-midfielder,” he said.

“At this moment, we are still waiting but I’m still hopeful.

“We’re in the lap of the gods with their chairman saying yes at what we can afford.”

Moore re-iterated his desire to bring in players who can cope with the rigours of league football rather than untested talent from big clubs.

“People are probably fed up hearing what we are trying to do,” said the manager.

“But it’s as hard as it’s ever been to bring an experienced guy in.

“There are hundreds of young and inexperienced kids out there, but the physicality won’t match what’s needed in League Two, because they are used to pretty tippy-tappy football.”

Midfield is not the only area Moore will make changes.

Scott Harrison will miss his first match of the season as he serves a one-game ban for his red card against Crawley.

With Magnay suspended, Harry Worley on the long-term sick and loanee Andrew Boyce back at Scunthorpe, Moore must choose between Matthew Bates or Dan Jones.

Jones was taken off with a cut head last week but trained yesterday and will be available for the clash with the free-scoring Wombles.

If he opts to go with Jones, that leaves a void at left-back, which Michael Duckworth could fill or Carroll, who started the season in that role.

Carroll could miss his first match of the season with Jason Banton a likely starter in wide midfield.

Pools (probable): Carson, Hendrie, Okuonghae, Bates, Jones, Oates, Featherstone, Woods, Banton, Bingham, Paynter.

Subs: Bartlett, Duckworth, Carroll, Walker, Oyenuga, Nelson-Addy, Fenwick