New boss Dave Jones already impressed with Hartlepool United players

Nicky Featherstone celebrates scoring against Stevenage.
Nicky Featherstone celebrates scoring against Stevenage.

Dave Jones says Hartlepool United’s players have already set their own standard and will not tolerate any dip.

The new Pools boss takes his side tomorrow to League Two basement boys Newport County (kick-off 3pm).

Jones watched from the Cyril Knowles Stand last weekend when Pools saw off Stevenage 2-0.

He was impressed with Pools in those 90 minutes at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium and has been happy with what he has seen in training this week

“The lads set a bar on Saturday,” he said. “Can we improve it? Hopefully, so. What I certainly don’t want is for us to drop below it.

“They set that bar, I didn’t, what I will encourage them to be is better than they were last Saturday.”

Jones will be in the dug-out at Rodney Parade tomorrow.

While he sat with chairman Gary Coxall for the victory over Stevenage he revealed he was in charge on match-day but insisted caretaker Sam Collins took centre-stage having prepared the side.

“Before Saturday we had only been in the place two days and we only changed a couple of things with the team, but what we changed we were pleased with,” said Jones.

“Sam had worked with us over the two days and the things we implemented they took to straight away.

“The players have been brilliant in training, we’ve not tried to make wholesale changes, we’ve done it bit by bit and we aren’t confusing anyone.

“We are trying to help them, slowly introducing a plan.”

The plan in South Wales tomorrow will be to get the club’s first away win since October 1 - or certainly not lose.

Newport prop up the division having not won at home in the league since shocking Carlisle 2-0 back on November 12.

But boss Graham Westley will fancy his chances against a side placed 18th.

He has ripped up the squad, releasing seven, including telling former Pools winger Jack Compton he is free to find his 15th club in the last decade.

Westley has brought in 12 players and his surgery appears to be showing signs of starting to pay off.

After losing eight in a row in League Two at the end of the last calander year and the start of 2017, County have had a 1-1 home draw with Colchester and Saturday’s admirable 0-0 stalemate at another play-off contender, Barnet.

Jones admits the amount of alterations Westley has undertaken makes it a difficult fixture to gauge on what is expected to be a heavy pitch.

“Any game is difficult,” said the Scouser. “People may say they are a good side, a bad side and you have to believe in what you are doing is right.

“Everyone goes on about their pitch but it’s the same for both sides.

“We’ll go there and be professional in our outlook and we hope that what we have put into the players over the last few days they will deliver.

“Newport have made a lot of changes and we will prepare for different scenarios.

“The players will be prepared and ready to adapt what they throw at us.”