Hartlepool boss expects Jones to be available against Newport

Rob Jones challenges for a high ball
Rob Jones challenges for a high ball

Craig Hignett is confident Rob Jones will be on the bus to Newport County tomorrow.

But the Hartlepool United boss will have no qualms about restoring Adam Jackson to the starting XI, should the veteran central defender get ruled out.

He’ll have a naughty shiner but apart from that I think he’ll be all right for Newport.

Jones’s home debut against Dagenham & Redbridge lasted only 45 minutes after feeling groggy following a knock to his face late in the first half.

After an uncertain first few seconds at the very start of the second half, Jackson was excellent alongside Matthew Bates at the heart of the defence

“Jacko had a mis-kick at the start of the second half but after that I thought he was superb,” said Hignett.

“He’s a young player, but really mature and confident

“I’m confident in what we’ve got defensively – we have good leaders at the back.

“Rob got an elbow in the face and he did not feel right at half-time so, purely as a precaution, we brought him off.

“He’ll have a naughty shiner but apart from that I think he’ll be all right for Newport.”

Jackson had to be on his mettle for Pools in the second half as the Londoners applied pressure and had chances.

But Pools were worthy winners after early goals by Billy Paynter and Jake Carroll with Jake Gray sealing a 3-1 win after the break.

“We wanted to start well and get at them,” said Hignett.

“The penalty early on settled us down – Billy put it away and I never have any doubt about him scoring from the spot.

“We relaxed, played all right got a second and I’m thinking ‘let’s get a third and fourth’.

“But football is not always like that and they got one back.

“I expected a little bit of nervousness and did for a while. But once Jake Gray scored I thought we were comfortable-ish.

“Dagenham had a couple of half-chances and one big chance, but I thought we were worthy of the win.”