Dave Jones says he will use his managerial nous to help Hartlepool United’s out-of-sorts players.
But the experienced boss insists the inspiration should be coming from within the squad.
They are professional footballers, they are paid to play footballDAVE JONES
Pools have not tasted success for seven games and face a must-win match with managerless Barnet this Saturday.
Jones bristled at the assertion that the players should need lifting.
“It does my head in when I hear people saying ‘you’ve got to get them going’,” Jones told SportMail.
“They are professional footballers, they are paid to play football.
“No-one had to get me going, no-one had to lift me, you lift yourself.
“We’ll do it but there has to be a response, it can’t just go one way.”
Jones is in a difficult situation.
He probably can’t publicly lambast the team, given the fragile mental state they are in, because he needs the players to play for him against the Bees on Saturday.
Jones was quite protective of his players after Monday’s costly set-
back, suggesting some froze and insisted
However, he hinted that he laid it on the line to them in the aftermath
“Am I angry? yeah,” he said. “You don’t see my emotion, it’s inside.
“What goes on in there [the dressing room] stays in there but they know where we are.
“They know what we have to do. They will know that for the next three games.”
Jones dismissed any notions there is a lack of fight in the players, though they were certainly shown up in that regard by bottom club Leyton Orient’s young side.
“There is fight there, there just wasn’t enough of it,” said the Pools boss, who wants the players who were at the club during the Great Escape to come to the fore.
Matthew Bates, Nicky Featherstone, Scott Harrison, Brad Walker and Michael Woods were all at the Vic when Ronnie Moore guided Pools to safety.
There are many more who played last season who led the club to safety during a spring renaissance under Craig Hignett.
“There must be 50% to 60% who have been in this situation before,” said Jones, the club’s third Scouse boss in succession.
“We have to draw on that experience to try to make sure it [relegation] does not happen.”
For all the talk of getting the mentality right, the manager says the execution needs to be as good as the attitude.
“First half [on Monday] we had better chances,” he said. “If you put them away, everything goes quiet.
“Maybe the players felt they did it after going in front.
“But this shocked me, certainly the first 45 minutes, this is not what I’m about.”