Wimbledon v Hartlepool United: Pools need to be switched on says Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore. Picture by FRANK REIDHartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore. Picture by FRANK REID
Ronnie Moore has called on his players to be “switched on” when they head to Wimbledon for a crucial League Two clash tomorrow (kick-off 2pm.

There are no international breaks in this division, but the match at Kingsmeadow is followed by an FA Cup tie with non-league Cheltenham Town, with their next league match not until Sunday, November 15.

Pools are currently 19th – their lowest position of the season – and Moore will not want them to drop any lower.

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As things stand, they are eight points from the relegation zone and the same distance from the top seven.

Pools boast a very fair away record – they have taken more points on the road than at Victoria Park – and on their last trip to the capital, 1-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge in the east end.

It’s South-West London this time for Pools and while Moore would love a repeat of that success – and clean sheet – he is pragmatic enough to know a draw would represent a good result against an in-form Wimbledon.

“It’s how you look at it, is your glass half-empty or half full?” said Moore.

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“Three points puts us to half-way and if we lose and teams gain ground then we’re closer to the bottom.

“But, for me, there’s nothing between the teams at the top to the bottom.

“On our day we can beat anyone, but we have to stop the silly goals or allowing the teams to get behind us with one ball.

“We have to be consistent and, as a team, we’ve not been consistent for probably two seasons.

“I mean by that if you can’t win then get a draw.

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“We win three, lose five. We don’t dig in and make sure out worst scenario is coming away with a draw.

“Over a season, if you have eight draws instead of two and during that you block some losses and turn them into draws it’s so important.

“Those extra points can make a massive difference over the course of the season.

“You look at instances like Exeter away, we should have come back from there with a point.”

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And Moore says it is about the players concentrating for the entire 90 minutes.

“We concede too many late on in a game and it’s not down to fitness – they work hard and we can’t work them any harder,” he said.

“It comes down to concentration and mental attitude.

“We have conceded when someone’s sleeping and then you lose the game.

“You can’t legislate for that, it’s down to the players being switched on for the 90 minutes.”

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And Pools will need to be focused tomorrow – the Wombles are scoring goals for fun.

In fact, they have scored seven in their last two matches, away wins at Accrington and York.

“It’s going to be hard,” said Moore. “People talk about Wimbledon and how they bosh it.

“But I’ve watched their last few games and that’s not what they are about.

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“They have pace and ability. OK, they concede goals but they can score them.

“Look at their last three games? They lose 5-2 at home to Morecambe, but win 4-3 at Accrington and 3-1 at York.

“They have goals in their side and we have to make sure we are at our best defensively.”