IN THE DUGOUT: Poolie diehard Jordan takes our gaffer challenge

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IN The Dugout is our brand new feature which sees Hartlepool United supporters answer questions on the latest hot topics at Victoria Park, signing off by picking their team for the weekend.

It’s another Poolie diehard, Jordan Richardson (pictured with Steve Howard), who takes up the reins this week ahead of Saturday’s visit of Southend United.

The 16-year-old student, from Throston, is a lifelong Pools fan and was at Rochdale last Saturday for the opening-day defeat.

First off, how hard was it to take the defeat to Rochdale last weekend?

It was quite difficult. After feeling very optimistic going into the game, to be defeated like that was tough. We expected more with it being the first game of the season.

Were you encouraged by the performance at Nottingham Forest despite the defeat?

I wasn’t there in person but I followed it on the club website and it sounded better than the Rochdale game. But to concede six goals in two games is just not good enough for me and that remains a worry.

What do you make of Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett so far? Are they the right men to take Pools forward as a club?

I like them and first impressions are good. They’ve shown good trust in the youth at the club which is something I like. Players such as Luke James should be playing more and they seem keen to give the younger lads a chance. It’s always important to have a good youth set-up in my opinion and that seems something they’re really keen on.

Are you hopeful of more signings before the transfer window ends?

Definitely! Especially if (Peter) Hartley leaves us. I’d expect a few loan signings to come in and possibly the signing of Matthew Bates - that is if the club can afford it. But I definitely think we need more players in and I really hope the club back the manager, especially if there is some money from the Hartley deal.

Which one of the early acquisitions do you like the look of already?

Jack Compton. He looks like a player that we have badly lacked in recent seasons. He has the pace to beat a man and get at defenders and has looked very good so far. I’m hoping for big things from him.

How do you think Pools will fare in League Two?

It may take us a while to get used to the pace of the league but I am pretty certain of a top-seven finish. I feel, with a couple of new players, we could easily achieve that and hopefully more.

Finally, what would your starting line up be against Southend this weekend?

Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Burgess, Holden, Franks, Walker, Walton, Compton, Rodney, James. Come on Pools!