Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday defender Rob Jones ready when Hartlepool United need him

Rob Jones

Rob Jones

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Hartlepool United have strengthened their defensive options with the signing of Rob Jones – and the giant stopper says he is ready to play at Barnet if Craig Hignett needs him.

Jones has agreed a deal with Pools until the end of the season.

I just try to be a positive influence on the team

ROB JONES

The 36-year-old has been training with Pools for the past two weeks following his release from Doncaster Rovers last month and impressed in a midweek behind-closed-doors friendly win over Newcastle.

Jones brings a wealth of experience and a physical presence given his 6ft 7in frame.

“All is sorted with my move,” the Stockton-borm player told SportMail. “I am ready to play, it’s down to the manager when he wants to use me.”

It could be tomorrow. If Matthew Bates is ruled out for the vital League Two trip to the Hive, don’t be surprised to see Jones paired with Adam Jackson in central defence (kick-off 3pm).

Without Bates at Bristol Rovers, Pools lacked not only defensive solidity but organisation and leadership.

Jones will certainly bring a voice to the back four.

“Some people say I talk too much!” smiled the former Gateshead, Grimsby Town, Hibs, Scunthorpe, Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster man.

“I might be loud but I just want to win.

“Experience is vital but I just try to be a positive influence on the team.”

Jones scored 11 times in 78 appearances over three and a half years at Doncaster, playing in the Championship and League One, which is a fair return for a centre-half.

He remains modest about his abilities but he is an out-and-out central defender, perhaps something Pools require after a 4-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers.

“It’s not for me to say how I play,” said Jones, who said he was delighted to sign for the League Two side.

“I’ve been here for the last couple of weeks, training with the lads.

“After leaving Doncaster, Craig said I could train here to keep up my fitness.

“I played in midweek up at Newcastle and I spoke to the manager afterwards and he wanted me to come in until the end of the season.

“I’ve enjoyed my time so far – it’s been good.

“I played with Billy [Paynter] for two years at Doncaster so knew him really well, but I’ve got to know the rest of the lads too.

“It’s nice to become a fully-fledged member of the group now.

“If I can come in and do a job that woould be great and look to enjoy playing as many games as I can.”

Jones has played over 400 games in the Football League and SPL and had a spell as Rovers caretaker-manager following the sacking of Paul Dickov in 2015.

Most recently, he had worked as coach of Doncaster’s development side.