Dave Jones won’t judge Hartlepool United’s players on reputation or hearsay.
The boss insists he will always trust his own eyes and instincts when it comes to players.
I’ve had alcoholics, gamblers, I even had one player who has now become a monkDAVE JONES
Jones is just over two weeks into his sixth managerial job and is getting to know all his squad, inside and out having started with a clean slate.
“I’ve not listened to what the players have done before and I’m not interested in what they’ve done before,” said Jones.
“It’s about what I see.
“I’m not interested in what someone tells me about a player, it’s about what I see.
“If you look at my history in management, 60% of the players I have had I was told to never touch!
“And those 60% turned out to be my best players!
“Some might just have needed a second chance, some needed guidance and that’s where my experience comes in.
“I’ve had alcoholics, gamblers, I even had one player who has now become a monk! I must have some effect on them!
Jones is out on the training ground every day with his players and right-hand men, assistant boss Kevin Cooper, coach Alex Armstrong and development coach, Sam Collins.
“The first few weeks is always going to be about assessment and learning and discovering about the club and what is going on,” he said. “We are finding it out and hopefully it falls into place.
“I’m learning every day, trying to cram it all in and still trying to get the results – that’s what happens when you come into a club which has changed its manager and staff.
“What has gone on before isn’t my structure or philosophy
“I have to implement mine quickly and the sooner the players buy into it – and they seem to be enjoying it – then the better.”
Jones has brought in his ‘own men’ – Pools in recent times have had a tradition of a boss having an assistant who was already ‘in house’.
The ex-Stockport, Southampton, Wolves, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday chief is pleased with the team he has off the field.
Cooper and Armstrong are long-serving loyal lieutenants, while Collins has been retained along with head physio, Ian Gallagher, and pre-rehab coach, Stuart Parnaby.
Jones has added a goalkeeping coach in Stephen Pears.
The former top-notch Boro goalie is already well-versed in the club having been a player and assistant manager at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
“I’m in with people I trust and know, with Sam, Buster [Gallagher] and Stuart,” said Jones.
“We have brought in a goalkeeping coach in Stephen Pears – we are building a squad off the field which should help on it.”
As evidenced by his building off the pitch Jones is well known for his meticulous planning, with preparation one of his watchwords.
“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you are properly prepared, in any walk of life, you have a better chance of doing something than if you are doing it ad-hoc,” he added.