Dave Jones is adamant Hartlepool United are “getting there” in terms of their footballing development.
Pools stayed 21st and remain eight points clear of the Football League’s trapdoor after a 2-1 defeat at Blackpool.
Football does have the tendency to kick you in the teeth an awful lotDAVE JONES
Not for the first time, the scoreline does not tell the full story – Pools matched or bettered the promotion hopefuls in pretty much every department, aside from the final result.
Lewis Alessandra gave Pools the lead with his ninth goal of the season before Bright Osayi-Samuel equalised for the Tangerines, who were grateful to a fortunate winner 10 minutes from time by sub Kyle Vassell.
But Jones believes his side are improving all the time.
“It’s a big learning curve for them but if they continue to develop and believe in what’s happening here, then we will get there,” said the boss.
“Are Blackpool better than us? Not really.
“I’ve not come across anyone who is better than us at this moment in time.
“We’ll learn from this.
“We have such a young squad at the moment, but this sort of match will do them the world of good if they are clever and want to learn.”
Learning is what Pools appear to be doing, judging by how well they performed at Bloomfield Road.
In terms of match stats, possession was equally divided at 50%, Pools had just one shot fewer than their hosts, 16-15, but outstripped the Tangerines in shots on target, 8-5.
Unfortunately, Blackpool edged the statistic which matters the most – goals.
Their winner was a complete fluke, Vassell’s lobbed cross dropping in at the far post after Joe Fryer had saved his initial shot.
“Football does have the tendency to kick you in the teeth an awful lot,” shrugged Jones.
“When you are playing the good sides, like Blackpool who are going for promotion, you need to battle.
“We did that and we had an opportunity to take a point or pinch three given the way we played.
“They didn’t have as many openings as us – I’m trying not to be biased but I don’t think they had as many clear chances as us.
“But the difference is goals.
“Their second though, how it went in I don’t know? It’s the luck they got and we didn’t, it nestles in the corner of the net.”
There were also appeals for handball for the opening goals by Osayi-Samuel, but Jones says there are no sour grapes from Pools.
“We are not complaining,” he said. “It was a fluke, but you earn your luck in football.
“From our perspective, we feel we could have done better and should have done better.
“I honestly didn’t feel in any danger whatsoever, but if you switch off that’s when danger can happen.
“Stay alert and that doesn’t happen.”