Jones earms praise of Hartlepool boss

Dan Jones in action against Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID
Dan Jones in action against Morecambe. Picture by FRANK REID

DAN Jones has won praise from Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore after his emergence at centre half.

But the Pools boss still intends to bring in two new centre backs when the January transfer window opens this Saturday.

Jones broke into the first team picture at Pools at left-back but he has been moved into central defence alongside Matthew Bates since Moore took the job.

And the 20-year-old has impressed in the games against Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Morecambe.

Indeed Jones, who came through the club’s youth system and has nine first team appearances to his name, was the only player to come out of the Shrimps defeat with any credit.

Moore believes he has a bright future.

“I think young Jones has done well to be fair,” Moore told SportMail.

“Against Oxford we limited them to very few chances and while I was disappointed with the goal we conceded it was nothing to do with Dan.

“Dan has gone and headed and done the right things.

“I was pleased for him but he is still young.

“Dan was fantastic against Mansfield and I thought everything I asked of him I got.

“He is learning his trade and still mistimes his headers at times.

“But he tackles well when he needs to tackle and he reads the game quite well,” added Moore.

Pools are in desperate need of reinforcements though and Jones’ run in the team could soon come to an end with Moore keen to add more experience to his defensive unit.

As well as Jones and Bates, Moore can also use Neil Austin in central defence but he has been struggling for form and is currently playing right-back.

Sam Collins has been missing with a knee injury but he is also focusing on his role as assistant manager.

Meanwhile, the loan spell of Cambridge United defender Matteo Lanzoni came to an end after the Morecambe defeat and it won’t be extended.

On Monday, the Pools boss held talks with an experienced centre-half available on a free, while Sunderland defender Scott Harrison – who has had two previous loan spells at the club – has been training with Pools.

He is set to be the first signing.

Speaking ahead of the January transfer window opening, Moore added: “If I can get two experienced centre backs then I would do it and create some competition.

“Just because I bring them doesn’t mean they will automatically play.

“It will give Batesy the chance then to roll up his sleeves, Dan to do that and Scotty if he is in.

“Then all of a sudden you have a nice compact and competitive edge to your defence.”

Moore, who wants three new faces before Saturday’s match against Wycombe Wanderers, is certainly set to be busy once the window opens.

In total he wants to bring at least five new players in and ship out a similar number as he re-jigs his squad.

Any loan signings would have to be registered by noon on Saturday in order for them to be eligible for the game at Adams Park.