Moore: My finest achievement

Date published: Monday 27th April 2015 10:32

Scott Fenwick and Jordan Hugill were on target as the Victoria Park men beat Exeter 2-1 at the weekend to guarantee their place in League Two for another season with a game to spare.

It was looking increasingly unlikely that would be the case when Moore took over at Pools in December last year with the club cut adrift at the bottom of the table having just been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league outfit Blyth Spartans.

Hartlepool’s victory at the weekend condemned Cheltenham and Moore’s former club Tranmere to demotion from the Football League and he admitted that keeping Pools in League Two was probably his finest achievement as a manager.

He told Sky Sports News HQ: “It’s got to be the best. I got back-to-back promotions at Rotherham and to stay in the Championship four years running was unbelievable.

“But we were 10 points adrift, everybody thought we were dead and buried and then to actually get out with one game to spare is just unbelievable. It’s just a fairy tale, really.”

‘Embarrassing’

There was a bit of confusion at the end of the game as Hartlepool players and supporters almost celebrated a little prematurely as the Cheltenham game hadn’t finished, but Moore was just glad his side got over the line.

“It was a bit nerve-racking really because we thought we had done it,” he said. “We did our lap of honour all around the ground and everybody was jumping up and down and we got to the tunnel and somebody said there was still four minutes to go at Cheltenham.

“So it could have been a very embarrassing moment for us but it was an absolutely fantastic feeling.”

Having secured Pools’ safety for another year, Moore is now looking ahead to next season and said he will be setting his targets higher.

“Well, if you look at Wycombe, that’s the benchmark for us,” he said. “They nearly went out the league last year and look at where they are. So anything is possible.

“It’s just about having that dream and then going and trying to do it but I’ve got to obviously now be looking for new players to come in and strengthen us up a bit.”

Hartlepool fan and Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling has called for Moore to be given the Manager of the Year award but, while appreciative of Jeff’s support, Moore says he is just happy to be back in football after nearly a year out.

Moore said: “He’s a good agent for me, Jeff. He’s fantastic.

“I’m just grateful I’m back in work. That’s the big thing because to be out for eight months, it’s a long time to be out of football and it was just fantastic to get back and to get the opportunity again.”

Moore was sacked by Tranmere just over a year ago after he admitted breaking the FA’s betting rules.

‘Fantastic’

He maintains that he shouldn’t have left the club but said he was disappointed to see Rovers lose their Football League status after 94 years.

He said: “I’m disappointed that it is Tranmere, I had a lot of years there as a player, as a manager, as a coach. I’m just gutted for their fans more than anything. I was disappointed to leave the club – I don’t think I should’ve left, I don’t think I should’ve been sacked. It was ridiculous what went on.

“So that part of me thinks retribution, maybe, but very disappointed because it is a fantastic club and it’s just a pity it wasn’t another club that went down instead of them.”

Another of Moore’s former clubs Rotherham are also fighting for their Championship lives after being deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player.

The Football League punished United for playing on-loan Derby defender Farrend Rawson in their 1-0 win over Brighton earlier this month, leaving the club one point clear of Millwall in the scrap for survival.

Although he doesn’t believe Rotherham will be successful in appealing the decision, Moore believes they will get the points they need to secure their own safety.

He said: “If you make an error like that then you’re going to lose the three points and I don’t think they have any chance of getting those points back. Somebody has made an unusual mistake and it could be so costly.

“But I think they’ll be all right, I think they will get the result they need against Reading tomorrow night and then hopefully they can go and enjoy the last game at Leeds United.”

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