Salford v Hartlepool looks a cert for TV!

James Poole
James Poole
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Sam Collins believes Hartlepool United’s FA Cup clash at Salford City is tailor-made for television coverage.

Pools have been drawn away to the club part-owned by five Manchester United legends in the second round, to be played on the weekend of December 4-7.

I’m sure they will up their game another 20 or 30 per cent.

It is the tie of the round as Salford City chase a second successive League Two scalp after eliminating Notts County 2-0.

Given that result and the current media love-in with the Reds, co-owned by Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, and Paul Scholes, it would be a shock if the tie was NOT screened live by either the BBC or BT.

BBC TV cameras were at Moor Lane for the win over Notts County on Friday night, when former Pools forward, James Poole, was City’s man of the match.

Collins tuned into the shock result and was impressed with what he saw.

And given Pools lost at the same stage of the FA Cup last season on TV, to non-league Blyth Spartans, he expects Salford City v Pools will play out to the nation.

“It’s a brilliant tie and given all the Class of ’92 stuff which is around Salford City, I wouldn’t be surpised if was picked for TV coverage,” he told SportMail. “I think it deserves to be on.

“It’s going to be a tough game. Notts County were poor on Friday night but Salford were by far the better side.”

Collins says Pools must perform at their best to avoid becoming the Northern Premier League team’s second FA Cup “scalp”.

“Salford were physically stronger than Notts County but they also played the better football,” said Ronnie Moore’s right-hand man.

“We’re going to have to match their physicality and intensity.

“I’m sure they will up their game another 20 or 30 per cent – they will be fully aware of what happened to us last year [against Blyth].

“It will be tough – they have the advantage of a tight ground.

“But at the end of the day, they are non league and we’re League Two.

“We’ve got players with a lot of league experience.

“If we play to the form we are capable of then we can go through and we’ve got to make sure we’re up for it.”

The tie brings Ronnie Moore’s side up against former star Poole, who made a century of appearances – scoring 15 goals – before leaving the Vic in the summer of 2014.

Poole was one of the architects of Salford’s win over Notts County and said the draw against Pools was a dream tie.

“I’m very excited,” he told SportMail. “We all got together at a local pub and a TV crew came down to watch us at the draw.

“I think they have a good reaction from me!

“The lads here know how excited I was and they started shouting “Poolie, Poolie”. We’re all buzzing from Friday night but I think they are happy for me that we’ve got Hartlepool.”