Dave Jones sold a dream of ‘Project Pools’ by Hartlepool United chairman

Pools chairman Gary Coxall (left) and new manager Dave Jones. Picture by Frank Reid
Pools chairman Gary Coxall (left) and new manager Dave Jones. Picture by Frank Reid

Hartlepool’s new boss Dave Jones has been sold the dream of ‘Project Pools’ by chairman Gary Coxall.

The experienced manager admits he would not have returned to work for any old job, having not been in the dugout since 2013.

The chairman sold it to me - Gary sold me a dream

But the picture painted by Coxall convinced him that the Northern Gas & Power Stadium is somewhere he can bring success.

“The chairman sold me it – Gary sold me a dream,” he said. “He has shown ambition and why not?

“I have had people phone and congratulate me, while I have also had people say ‘what the hell are you doing’.

“The football club want to do well. The feeling around the place is good. I just felt it was right for me after talking to Gary.

“I felt he was young, ambitious, maybe a bit naive on certain things, but that is why I am employed as a football man. I am no expert in what Gary does, but he has employed me to build this football club how he sees it in the future.”

On the field, Pools have issues, given that they are sitting just four points above the League Two drop zone, and the concerns of fans about goings on off it refuse to go away.

But Jones believes there is room for the club to grow both on and off the park under the guidance of himself and, at times out-spoken, Coxall.

“You don’t get to the situation Gary is in by being stupid. He is very astute,” said the new man in defence of the chairman who employed him.

“People say he is crazy buying a football club but he wants to do well.

“It will be a roller-coaster ride. We will have to make changes. It won’t be easy because people do not like change.

“We need to keep the good things at the club and change the things that do not work.”

Helping to build a club from the bottom up is not something that is totally alien to Jones, having played his part in the rise of Stockport, as well as having a hand in developments off the field at Wolves, Cardiff and Southampton.

The manager sees this as a similar challenge.

“I want to bring a professionalism to the club,” he explained.

“Hartlepool are known as a so-called small club, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have big ambitions.

“We haven’t got vast amounts of money, so we need to keep a tidy house.

“This kind of situation is not new to me. Yes, it might have been a while since I have been in this situation, but I had similar at Cardiff.

“We have got far better facilities here than we did at Cardiff. It is about bringing a professional attitude to the football club. Change can be good.”