Dave Jones not afraid to change Hartlepool United’s winning team

Hartlepool United manager Dave Jones.
Hartlepool United manager Dave Jones.

Dave Jones says he will not find it difficult to change a winning Hartlepool United line-up.

The new Pools boss will be in the dug-out today for the first time when the side travel to Newport County.

“I will do what I think is right and the players will know that. I have no favourites.

While the experienced manager was not officially due to start until Monday, he has explained subsequently that he was in charge of last Saturday’s victory over Stevenage.

And he admits he will have “no qualms” about replacing players today at Rodney Parade if he feels that will benefit his team.

“No, not hard at all,” said Jones.

“I will do what I think is right and the players will know that. I have no favourites.

“Someone might have played well but I might think if someone else can do a better job I have no qualms about that.

“It will be hard, I’ve never known a player be happy to be left out.

“I want the players to be unhappy that they’ve been left out, it shows they care.”

Jones says players at Pools will always have an opportunity to press their claims but it’s up to them to show what they can do.

He pointed out how he promoted talented attacker Connor Smith into the League Two training group in the build-up to today’s game after watching him in the reserve victory over Rotherham.

“When you are leaving a player out, especially younger ones, you hear them say they haven’t been given a chance and they mean in the first team,” said the new boss.

“But players get a chance every day they walk through the door to earn the chance to get in the first team.

“You are not going to put them in the first team to see if they are good enough, they have to work at it.

“I want a pathway through the club and they earn the right to be with us.

“The first team is the pinnacle of the football club and if they want to be in it they have to earn the right.

“I saw Connor Smith play the other day, I liked him, I thought he was very good so we drafted him in [to first-team training].

“Why not, educate him, let him grow with us.

“If he’s not quite right we’ll let him go back into the safety net.”