Vital Hartlepool United stayed outside League Two relegation zone

Michael Woods drives forward against Carlisle United. Picturte by FRANK REID
Michael Woods drives forward against Carlisle United. Picturte by FRANK REID

Dave Jones insisted it was vital Hartlepool United kept their heads above League Two’s relegation waters going into Monday’s must-win game at Leyton Orient.

Jones saw Pools fight back to grab a 1-1 draw with Carlisle United at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium yesterday.

The lads are hanging on in there and that’s the most important thing

DAVE JONES

The Cumbrians took a seventh-minute lead through Jabo Ibehre and when Mickey Demetriou’s second-half free-kick put Newport County 1-0 up against Yeovil 1-0 at Rodney Parade, Pools briefly found themselves facing dropping into the bottom two.

However, Rhys Oates showed tremendous determination to equalise in the 65th minute.

It meant Pools stayed above the Football League trapdoor, but only by a point over Newport.

“The lads are hanging on in there and that’s the most important thing.

“Our luck will change, things will start to go for us, but we have to earn that, we have to turn it around.

“We’ve just had two hard games, at a club fighting for their own lives and against a team fighting at the other end of the league and we’ve picked up two vital points.

“I think it was crucial [to stay above County].

“Newport are on a little roll at the moment, but they are down there for a reason.

“They’ve not had a fantastic season, they are like us, been up and down.

“It was important not to lose to Carlisle.”

Jones told SportMail that he felt the draw against Keith Curle’s team was a point gained rather than two points dropped.

“I think so,” he said

“Last Saturday at Morecambe, it was more two points dropped.

“Here against a team in the play-offs, trying to get out of the division, it was a point earned.

“It was always going to be difficult and we could easily have lost all the points.

“We could have done without it being a derby.

“They bring a big crowd who get right behind them.

“We were glad to get the in at half-time to try to settle them down. We were too edgy, nervous and the free-kick? We practiced all week two players remember it one doesn’t and that frustrates you.

“You couldn’t fault them for effort, they kept fighting, driving forward and that’s all you can ask for.

“They showed a lot of determination.”

Jones admits the relegation fight could go all the way to the wire, which happens to be a home game with already-promoted Doncaster.

But the Pools boss says a win for his team could change the whole picture.

“It can do, but you never know,” he said. “We win and someone draws and we could move up two places, that’s how crazy it is.

“But as long as it’s still in our hands, which it is, we will take it.

“We are going to go into another battle on Monday, and it’s down to us no-one is going to give you anything.”