Middlesbrough’s Jordan Jones the only bright spot for Hartlepool

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID

JORDAN Jones was the only bright spot in the defeat to Burton Albion and he won praise for his impact on his full debut for Hartlepool United, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.

Boss Ronnie Moore praised the on-loan Middlesbrough youngster’s impact in the first-half at Victoria Park.

Jordan was bright and positive

Pools boss Ronnie Moore

But he has called on the 20-year-old to be an attacking threat for the whole 90 minutes as his team look to bounce back from the demoralising 1-0 defeat.

Strong winds battered both sides for the full match, with Jones one of few players to shine in an otherwise dour Sky Bet League Two encounter.

His raw pace and energy down the right flank caused Burton problems but neither Ryan Bird or Marlon Harewood managed to make the most of his crosses into the box.

Moore said: “Jordan whipped in some decent crosses but we wanted the strikers on the end of them – get on your heels and get on the end of them.

“For 45 minutes, Jordan was bright and positive but he went missing second half, which was a shame because he was a threat before half-time.”

Jones, who has represented Northern Ireland U17 and been named in U19 squads, signed on a month-long loan from Championship neighbours Middlesbrough midway through last month.

He is comfortable in midfield or in a more advanced forward role.

Moore was keen to inject more pace into his side but Jones has had to be patient before getting his first start.

Jonathan Franks, disappointing in the 2-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, was the man to miss out.

Boro-born Jones had Moore in his ear all first half as he hugged the right wing touchline but he went off the boil when he moved to the far side of the pitch.

“Jordan did well in patches first half and then went over the far side and disappeared,” added Moore.

“I put Aussie [Neil Austin] there to talk and help him out but he got sloppy later on.”

While Moore had positive words for Jones, he was less than impressed with Jack Compton and the set piece delivery, first-half especially, with the winger struggling to beat the first man.

“Set-plays we worked on all day Friday - not that you’d have known – and then we hit the first man with most of them,” added Moore.

“We never saw Compton in the first-half.

“We changed around a bit in a positive way, trying to get some pace over the top [with Connor Smith] but we ended up putting the ball on the centre-halves heads.”