Dave Jones determined to put an end to Hartlepool United’s annual battle against relegation

Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones.
Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones.

Dave Jones can’t wait to guide Hartlepool United to safety – so he can begin his transformation of the club.

For the fifth successive year, Pools are in the thick of a relegation fight and are desperate to get a result against Barnet at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium (kick-of 3pm).

It is the first of a vital three-match end-of-season run-in which will determine where Pools will be playing their football next term.

Having seen their proud stay in the third tier end in 2013, Pools have flirted with the drop from League Two for the subsequent four years.

And Jones says he wants to turn Pools into a success story.

“It’s about trying to change something which has been going on for too many years now,” he said.

“We have to change it.

“We need the help of everyone associated with the club, that’s what we are trying to do.

“We have to change the mentality.

“It’s been five seasons and our supporters are fantastic because they keep coming.

“Eventually they will see a change.”

And Jones, who had success at previous clubs, Stockport, Southampton, Wolves, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday, hinted things would improve via evolution rather than revolution,

“The only way you can change it in a flash is to clear the whole place out,” said Jones.

“Or do you change within the environment, that is what we are trying to do, trying to build.”

Jones admits that the pressure is on Pools to scrap their way to safety so they can implement their plans.

And the 60-year-old says the constant cycle of struggle after struggle must be removed from the psyche at the Vic.

“There’s a lot at stake for the players, me, the staff, the club,” he explained.

“We are trying to make changes, we don’t want this happening every year, it’s nothing new.

“This has gone on for years at this football club.

“It’s nothing new, we are trying to change it and it takes a little bit of time.”

Jones says he was brought in by the club’s owners, JPNG, to raise the standards and Pools moving up the leagues.

“The expectation levels have risen, that’s why I have been employed,” he said.

“If you want to stay where you are, you keep employing the same people who have done it before or whatever.

“It is frustrating at the moment, for me, the players, the people inside the club, the fans.”

Pools face Barnet at home this afternoon when a win would keep Jones and his team above the drop zone.

It looks a straight fight between Pools and 23rd-placed Newport as to who goes down with Leyton Orient.

Yeovil, Crewe, Crawley and Cheltenham are not mathematically safe, but, realistically it will be either Newport or Pools who go down.