Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones says he’s not seen a better team in League Two

Michael Woods.  Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Woods. Picture by FRANK REID

Dave Jones feels things are coming together at Hartlepool United – even if that has yet to show in the League Two table.

Pools remain 21st and a healthy, though not safe, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

I’ve not come across anyone in this division far better than us

Dave Jones

Jones says that, short-term Pools must cut out the errors which have hindered hopes of a climb up the standings and, in the long-term, evolve a squad which will make Pools winners.

“As I’ve said already, I’ve not come across anyone in this division far better than us whatsoever,” said Jones, whose assessment will be given an acid test against Portsmouth at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium this Saturday.

“A lot of the defeats we’ve had have been our own downfall.

“We make mistakes and that has been going on for a while before I came in.

“So hopefully we change that outlook and mentality and you will see a far better team for it.

“We know we need to put the right ingredients together [to make a good team].

“If we need five ingredients in the pot we may have three which isn’t a bad start, it’s the fourth and fifth which get you where you want to go.

“With my experience and the coaching ability we have between us we can do it.

“If the players want to listen and learn, which they are doing, then hopefully it will rub off and we get where we want to go.”

Jones will look to develop a squad which can challenge at the top end of the division but denies that means a cull in players at the end of the season.

“It’s not just about moving players on, it’s about assessing what’s here,” he said.

“But if you want to move forward you have to bring in players you know will give you a good chance of getting out of this division.”

Clearly, the current crop of Pools players have the opportunity to prove their worth to Jones and his right-hand men, Kevin Cooper and Alex Armstrong, starting with Saturday’s visit of a Portsmouth side driving towards a place in League One.

Pools more than competed with a side in better form than Pompey at the weekend, when they took on Blackpool.

While the Tangerines sneaked a 2-1 victory, courtesy of a fluke late winner, the football from Pools was very good.

“We are trying to develop a new pattern of play,” said Jones. “You could see the patterns out there, but we are short on that final bit.

“I feel for the players, I really do.

“We got into great positions and the keeper made a couple of good saves, and they cleared off the line form a corner.

“On another day they go in.”