Hartlepool’s Brad Walker lifts the lid on what Dave Jones said to the players after their Stevenage triumph

Brad Walker
Brad Walker

New Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones took a back seat as Pools romped to a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Stevenage.

But he cannot fail to have been impressed with what he witnessed from the Northern Gas & Power Stadium stands on Saturday.

Sam gave me my chance and I think I delivered

And although Jones refrained from speaking publicly after the triumph, leaving media duties to caretaker Sam Collins, goalscorer Brad Walker has opened up about what he said in the dressing-room in the aftermath of the win.

“He said it was a great performance,” Walker revealed.

“He said there were things to work on at both ends of the field but he said as far as first matches go, he was delighted.”

With Jones, and Collins, giving the squad a clean slate, Walker got his chance to shine.

And the midfielder, who netted Pools’ second on the stroke of half-time, admits it has felt like a long time coming.

“I am delighted I have waited a long time for my chance - all season really,” he said.

“I think I came on last week and I did all right and then I got the chance to impress in front of the new gaffer.

“With Sam taking charge, it helped. He knows me he has been working with me all season.

“A big part of my game is to score goals and I think I haven’t done enough of that.

“But Sam gave me the chance, which I am grateful for, and I think I delivered.”

While he was happy to be trusted with a starting berth, it didn’t without cost.

He continued: “I tired. It was my first competitive game this season. I haven’t played that much reserve football lately with being involved with the first-team so it has just been training for me.

“I got cramp in both calfs and I was struggling to move in the end.”

Walker’s goal topped a real return to form for the youngster, but he was not the only one.

Rhys Oates also stood up to the plate.

And Walker, a regular with Oates in the second string this campaign, was over the moon for his fellow fringeman.

“I was delighted Rhys got the assist for the goal,” he said.

“I was going to take the penalty, just at that moment in time, but Rhys took it off me so I was pleased he got the assist.

“It was great ball, and I think the keeper should have kept it out but they all count.

“You know what you are going to get from Rhys. He is strong, he will score goals and I am delighted for him.”