Hartlepool boss ready for Portsmouth banter

Dave Jones at Blackpool last week
Dave Jones at Blackpool last week

Dave Jones is braced for an earful from Portsmouth fans.

As a former manager of Southampton, Jones knows what to expect tomorrow at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, where almost 1,000 Pompey fans will pack out the Rink End.

Despite the cities being 30 miles apart, the South coast clubs have one of the fiercest rivalries between any two sets of supporters.

“I’m sure I’ll be reminded that I was at Southampton,” laughed Jones. “They won’t have forgotten.

“One game I went to Fratton Park they were making chants and I’d only gone there to watch a mate!

“They were chanting to stand up if they hated me and two directors were on their feet!”

Tomorrow’s match will be a challenge on the pitch, given Paul Cook has Portsmouth as near-certainties for automatic promotion.

It will be challenge for home fans too given the volume which will come from the away section.

Can the Poolies rise to it?

“Last week our support was superb,” said Jones. “We took 1,700 to Blackpool and to do that is fantastic and they are great every week.

“That support, singing and noise was great – the first time I’ve really heard it here and it’s been the norm for me in my career.

“Let’s hope we can see what all the time and it becomes a regular thing.

“It’s great for the players to hear it and see it and from start to finish and the backing was absolutely superb.”

Jones was upset Pools could not deliver a result.

“We played well, but results are the be-all and end-all,” he said. “We played well but came away with nothing.

“We made mistakes and got punished.

“We are pleased with how we played, but not pleased with the results.”