'Dreadful results cost Dave Jones his job at Hartlepool, not me' says Jeff Stelling

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling has denied his on-air rant was responsible for costing Hartlepool United manager Dave Jones his job.

Jones left the Victoria Park hotseat yesterday, two days after club president Stelling's impassioned outburst on the broadcaster's flagship show Soccer Saturday.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, who quit as Hartlepool United president after his televised rant.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, who quit as Hartlepool United president after his televised rant.

But in an interview to publicise his forthcoming March For Men walk, which will raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, Stelling says it wasn't his outburst that cost Jones his job.

He said: "Yes, I asked for Dave Jones to resign, but I have to say David has left the club not because I asked him to resign, it's due to the fact that we had dreadful results and are second from bottom of the table.

"He's done the honourable thing and he's left, and I've just got my fingers crossed that somehow in the final two games of the season we can take six points and save ourselves, though it is against all the odds at the moment."

Asked why he felt it necessary to quit as president, he said: "I just felt that if I couldn't support the current manager in his role, then I really couldn't put my name to anything that the club was doing.

Dave Jones parted company with Hartlepool United after just 17 games in charge.

Dave Jones parted company with Hartlepool United after just 17 games in charge.

"When I said my bit there was no guarantee that anything would change, so I decided it was the best way to get the message over how passionate I was."

Asked where he sees the club moving forward, Stelling added: "It really is difficult to see where we move forward at the moment.

"First thing is, we have to go to Cheltenham on Saturday and win, it's as simple as that, otherwise we will be playing in the National League next season.

"I know the club is responsibly preparing for that possibility, although doing everything they can to avoid it."

Jones was only appointed as Craig Hignett's successor in January, but failed to turn the club's ailing fortunes around, picking up just 13 points in his 17 games in charge.

Saturday's 2-0 loss to Barnet was the final straw for diehard Pools fan Stelling, who resigned as club president after his extraordinary rant.

He said live on air: "We have lost at home, we're in the relegation places, and it's not personal Dave, but for God's sake, for the good of the club, walk now.

"Go now. You've got 13 points from 51, this is not your level of football.

"(Finance director) Pam Duxbury, the chairman Gary Coxall, if he won't walk, then sack him.

"If it means me resigning as president then I do so happily - do it now, do it today."

Jones said afterwards that he felt Stelling's outburst showed "a lack of respect", but he and the club parted company by mutual respect on Monday.

Pools are two points from safety, with just two Sky Bet League Two games to play.

They could be relegated to the National League this Saturday if they lose away at fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town and relegation rivals Newport win at Carlisle United.

Pools finish the campaign at home to champions-elect Doncaster on Saturday, May 6.

Experienced defender Matthew Bates has been handed the task of attempting to preserve their Football League status, assisted by captain Billy Paynter, Stuart Parnaby and Ian Gallagher.