Hartlepool’s young defensive duo are wise for their years

Scott Harrison in action for Hartlepool United during their 1-0 away loss at the hands of Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Scott Harrison in action for Hartlepool United during their 1-0 away loss at the hands of Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

EXPERIENCED David Mirfin believes youngsters Scott Harrison and Dan Jones are mature beyond their years – and that is reflected in their recent performances for Hartlepool United.

Harrison, 21, and Jones, 20, had struck up a solid partnership in central defence under Ronnie Moore prior to Mirfin’s arrival at the club.

The loan acquisition of Mirfin, signed on deadline day for a month from Scunthorpe United, has provided additional competition and also allowed Moore to experiment with a 3-5-2 formation away at Portsmouth.

He reverted back to a flat-back four for the home win over Northampton Town – a match which saw Jones dropped down to the bench.

Moore admitted the youngster was unfortunate to miss out, but Mirfin knows he will learn from the experience.

Mirfin is nine years Jones’ senior and has eight years on Harrison but he feels comfortable playing alongside the Pools academy graduate and the former Sunderland player.

He told SportMail: “I’ve enjoyed playing either side of those two and hopefully a few more games to do so.

“I was very impressed seeing their age and the amount of games they’ve played.

“Hopefully they can learn a little bit off me.

You talk about a lack of experience but you only get that by playing games and they’re doing that.

“If I can help their development along the way then that’s a good thing.

“Hopefully they can do a job to help keep the club in the league.”

A knee injury three days into Scunthorpe’s pre-season has meant that Mirfin has been frozen out of action at Glanford Park.

His absence from regular football saw him go under the radar so when Moore called for his services he had no hesitation in joining the league’s basement side.

He explained: “When Ronnie came in for me it was a no-brainer to come and get some games.

“Scunthorpe weren’t going to play me until I went out and got games so it’s been a catch-22 for me, these last months.

“It was a hard one where I’ve been out for so long that teams think ‘well is he fit?’ or ‘is it going to take him two or three games to get him fit?’.

“Luckily Ronnie’s given me a chance and it’s one I had to take.

“He reminds me of my first manager Peter Jackson – honest, tell you what he wants, and if you’re not doing it, he’ll tell you.

“Just Pools came in for me and with us being bottom of the league it might get frowned upon a little bit but it’s a very good place.”