New boss Ron takes hope from solid start
RONNIE MOORE admitted missing the buzz of football management but after returning to the dugout with Hartlepool United, the veteran immediately made his mark.
He may not have been able to inspire his new side to a rare victory, but the signs were there that he can improve the fortunes of the club bottom of the Football League.
Pools ended a run of five successive defeats with a solid point against Oxford.
And, while there’s still some way to go, the charismatic Moore can give Pools some muchneeded hope.
Moore, considering offering a contract to former Sheffield United forward Ched Evans, who was released from jail after serving a sentence following a rape conviction, admitted:“We went in front and then we had the fear factor.We were good going forward and in possession, but we weren’t like Real Madrid – and you aren’t going to be at this level.
“We worked hard in a tight game and we needed a second goal, you could see why we are in trouble.We retreated to the edge of our box, but we will work on it and get better.’
“I’ve only had a couple of days with the players and I can’t fault the effort and the commitment and we limited them to very few chances.
“We conceded, but we stayed strong which was good.’’
Moore is Pools’ third permanent boss this season and the club is also under new owners after a consortium called TMH 2014 took over.
But they need a massive improvement to stay up.
On half-time they jumped into life and Marlon Harewood was denied by goalkeeper Ryan Clarke after he got in one-on-one.
Jon Franks went close, volleying at goal from an angle only for Clarke to save again. Then two minutes later they found the breakthrough. Sidney Schmeltz curled over a lovely ball from the right into the path of Joe Ironside and the Sheffield United loanee cooly finished.
But the lead only lasted 12 minutes. A wellworked move on the left saw Danny Hylton – who in the first half wasted a free-header from eight yards – finish well.
Pools almost won it in injury time, but Clarke saved from Franks.
“With a new manager coming in they had a lot more impetus about them – they worked harder,” said Oxford manager Michael Appleton.
“But in the last 30 minutes only one team was going to win it.We huffed and puffed a little bit.
“Ronnie Moore is a very god manager and he had his team stopping us playing in the first half especially.”
STAR MAN JOE IRONSI