Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones not fazed if changes have to be made

Pools boss Dave Jones
Pools boss Dave Jones

Dave Jones will not be fazed by changes, enforced or otherwise, when Hartlepool United visit Luton Town tonight.

The Pools boss is sweating on the fitness of several key players following injuries to Padraig Amond (neck), Adam Bartlett (foot) and Liam Donnelly (ankle) in the 4-0 defeat at Mansfield.

“I could have changed any one of the 11.”

Those injuries added to the woes of an already-depressing afternoon and Jones admitted he could change the whole side if he had enough players.

“I’ll do the changes that are right,” said the manager.

“I could have changed any one of the 11.”

On-loan Boro keeper, Joe Fryer, is in line to make his Pools debut as the last line of defence.

Bartlett left Field Mill wearing a protective boot and Jones will not be afraid to start with the 21-year-old.

The same goes for teenage full-back Kenton Richardson who is on stand-by to replace Donnelly.

After Donnelly was forced off at the break, the 19-year-old got through the second half with some aplomb.

“Kenton came on and he didn’t let anyone down whatsoever,” said Jones.

Amond was confident he would be fit though his manager has been a stickler for insisting players have to be fully fit.

Nathan Thomas, who made his first start in 14 weeks out, is likely to start again tonight.

But Jones will be pondering changes to try to lift a side floored 4-0 by the Stags.

Midfielders Lewis Hawkins and Michael Woods are both candidates for a start, along with Connor Smith.

Whatever the line-up he sends out, Jones wants to see the players be “strong” in what is a huge task against a Luton team who have lost just once in their last six fixtures.

Pools fell apart after going behind at Field Mill and the boss says that can’t happen again.

“We need to be strong,” he said. “If a goal goes against us, everything seems to then go out the window.

“We need to say ‘we were the best team in the first 20, let’s get back to what we were doing’, but we don’t.

“The experienced players need to step up, there is no hiding place on a football pitch.

“Everyone needs to step up to the plate.

“We need to drill it into them more and more and more.

“We think we put one thing right and then move onto the next, then you fall down on what we’ve already worked on

“It’s disappointing for the fans and everyone associated with the club.

“The players have a responsibility, everyone in that dressing room, to pick ourselves up.

“The one thing about football is you get another opportunity and ours is straight away.

“I want us to get out of this habit of going behind and then thinking that’s the end.”

Hatters boss Nathan Jones looks like being minus midfielder Jordan Cook, who was stretchered off with a neck injury against Crawley Town on Saturday.

It could open up a return for ex-Pools loan star Jake Gray who joined Luton in the summer from Crystal Palace.

Luton (probable): Macey, O’Donnell, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Senior, Rea, Ruddock, Smith, Palmer, Vassell, Hylton

Subs: Moore, Gray, Marriott, Gambin, D’Ath, Justin

Pools (probable): Fryer, Richardson, Bates, Harrison, Kavanagh, Featherstone, Hawkins, Nelson, Amond, Thomas, Rooney.

Subs (from): Bartlett, Dudzinski, Martin, Woods, Alessandra, Smith, Oates, Hawkes