Hartlepool United never thought they were safe

Dave Jones: Team effort. Picture by FRANK REID.
Dave Jones: Team effort. Picture by FRANK REID.

Dave Jones says Hartlepool United have never considered themselves safe in League Two.

Pools go into the last three games of the season just one point above the relegation zone.

It’s all a far cry from the middle of last month when they were nine points above the bottom two.

When Pools won on the road for the first time since October 1, thanks to a 1-0 victory at Cambridge, they looked almost secure on 41 points in 20th place.

Notts County (40), Cheltenham (39), Newport (32) and Leyton Orient (32) were all below Jones’s side.

However, Pools have picked up only two points from a possible 18 since and Monday’s defeat at Orient has left the alarm bells ringing.

Jones believes some players may have felt the pressure of seeing Newport claw the gap back to a tiny margin.

“One or two maybe tightened up over a short period of time,” he admitted.

“It’s only a month ago we were talking about winning a couple of games on the bounce for the first time in a long time, scoring four goals, and the like.

“But we’ve always said we are in it (a relegation fight), no-one has dismissed that.”

Jones says it will be a team effort which keeps Pools up.

“It’s about the collective, the team it’s about staying strong, not having loose cannons or a blame culture,” he said. “No one thing is to blame, we are all in it together.

“We have an opportunity and we have to take it, not blame past regimes, past this, past that, it’s about the now.

“Just get on with it, don’t get bogged down with what’s gone before.”