Hartlepool United assistant Sam Collins praises Adam Jackson-Matthew Bates partnership

Adam Jackson brings the ball forward for Pools

Adam Jackson brings the ball forward for Pools

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Sam Collins today saluted the central defensive pairing of Adam Jackson and Matthew Bates after Hartlepool United announced they had retained the young prospect for a further month.

Jackson’s initial loan deal from Middlesbrough elapsed after Friday night’s FA Cup second-round 1-1 draw at Salford City.

The two lads at the back have really hit it off and long may it continue.

SAM COLLINS

It was the 21-year-old’s fifth appearance since joining Pools from Boro and another impressive one.

Jackson looked composed and secure in difficult conditions on a night when Pools had to show their mettle against the non-league outfit at Moor Lane.

The centre-half, from Darlington, had not played senior football before coming to the Vic, but in the matches against Cheltenham, Leyton Orient, Mansfield, Oxford and Salford, it looks as though he has been playing it all his life.

Jackson has formed an excellent combination with Bates after they were thrown together last month after injury problems at the back.

Assistant boss Sam Collins told SportMail: “Adam is here until January which is a big plus for us.

“The two lads at the back have really hit it off and long may it continue.

“It really works between them.”

Collins is a man who knows a thing or two about centre-half play, having made over 500 career appearances at the back, almost half of them for Pools.

“All the years I was here I seemed to be paired with a young lad, Gary Liddle, Peter Hartley, Scott Harrison, etc,” said manager Ronnie Moore’s right-hand man.

“Batesy is the type who will talk to Jacko and you can see it’s working, it’s good for us.

“Adam is not shy himself which is a good thing, sometimes you get lads who come in from other clubs being a bit quiet.

“But he’s not like that, he has a good character.

“Both of them have done really well from the off.”

Jackson will be at Pools until January 3, with the prospect of up to six more games, starting with Saturday’s difficult League Two trip to Portsmouth.

Pools have had the most arduous of runs and a match at Fratton Park is about as hard as they come.

Moore and Collins side will need to be on their game after having something of a struggle at Salford in the FA Cup.

But the assistant boss pointed to some encouraging displays in the build-up to the second round tie.

“The performances have been good, last week against Oxford is probably the best we’ve played, we had long spells the Saturday before at Mansfield and you couldn’t see us losing the game,” he said.

“We beat Leyton Orient ahead of that so we know we can play.

“There have been positives but we can do better.”

Collins was unhappy with Friday night’s display at Moor Lane though he acknowledged the heavy pitch did not assist their cause.

“It doesn’t help and playing in the Football League, we are used to better surfaces,” he said.

“But we only had three or four little spells when we did put things together.

“Every time we did, we opened them up.

“That was disappointing that we didn’t do that as much as we’d have liked to.

“We are disappointed especially with our first half, but we improved in the second and had two great chances to win it, sitters really.

“But we live to fight another day and when the chances come at home we have to take them.”