Dave Jones has taken his players through something of a video nasty as he looks to eradicate Hartlepool United’s “stupid mistakes”.
Jones and the Pools squad watched the tape from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Notts County before leaving the Northern Gas & Power Stadium for tonight’s League Two trip to Cambridge United (kick-off 7.45pm).
When you are near the bottom fighting for your lives then every mistake seems to cost youDAVE JONES
Pools played some good stuff at Meadow Lane in the 22nd v 21st clash, only to be undone by two second-half goals, Shola Ameobi strolling through for the opener before Jorge Grant smashed in a stunning second – from an unmarked position.
And Jones will be looking for a reaction from his players at the Abbey Stadium.
“The beauty of football is that you get another opportunity to do something about it,” he told SportMail. “We’ve been through the video with them, to show them the times they switch off.
“When you are up at the top and you switch off you seem to get away with a lot of things
“When you are down there, it costs you – these were incidents which can be stopped and quite easily.
“The good thing about the video is that the pictures don’t lie.”
So did the players who erred raise their hands and own up?
“Of course they did, if they didn’t we’d hold them up for them!” smiled Jones.
“They are the stupid mistakes which, if you cut them out, make you into a stronger team.
“That’s what we are trying to instil into them.”
Jones added: “You can’t leave a man standing on his own at the edge of our box.
“We hadn’t done it before then and when we did we get punished.
“We need people to communicate.
“These are the things you can stop.
“If you get done by a brilliant piece of skill or by a great move you just have to hold up your hands.
“But the goals we conceded we could have stopped.”
Jones admitted to losing his temper with the players after the defeat to the Magpies which saw them slip to just one place above the drop zone.
But he hopes from the negative of Saturday comes a positive tonight, and beyond.
“Sometimes you have to go through these mistakes and have angry moments to stop it from happening again
“Mistakes do occur, but when you are near the bottom fighting for your lives then every mistake seems to cost you. We have to stop that.
“It’s about the lads adjusting to situations.
“A guy may slip over we might have someone off the field for treatment, whatever.
“Maybe we are not savvy enough we have to deal with it.
“It’s like people saying ‘it was never a corner’ or ‘that was never a penalty’.
“You can’t blame the referee because he’s got something wrong.
“I might have a go myself – you do when you are angry – but if there’s a corner, penalty, free-kick, even if you think it wasn’t, you still have to deal with it.
“You have to get on it, I’m trying to instil that in the lads, telling them to be cool and calculating in what they do in the game.”