What Paul Hartley had to say about making wholesale Hartlepool United changes following Walsall defeat

Paul Hartley says he will not be tempted by a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ when it comes to selecting his Hartlepool United side to face AFC Wimbledon, admitting he has faith in his squad.

The Pools boss will be looking for a big reaction from his players after they were left shell shocked by a rampant Walsall to begin the new League Two campaign.

Pools were on the wrong end of a heavy defeat to the Saddlers with Hartley suggesting the performance was ‘unacceptable.’

But the new boss has revealed we may not see wholesale changes against the Dons despite the defeat at the Bescot Stadium.

Paul Hartley has been pleased with his Hartlepool United side's response in training. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“It’s easy to do that. But I still believe we’ve got a good group of players here,” Hartley told The Mail.

“It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to a bad result. I’ve seen manager’s who’ve made wholesale changes.

“But we look at how they’ve trained this week, and they’ve trained really well, and we’ll pick a way that we want to play and a team who we think can win the game.”

Hartley added: “It’s one game. If we’re 10 games into the season and we’re still not performing well then it becomes an issue, but it’s one game.

“We can quickly rectify that on Saturday by putting a strong performance in.

“I didn’t see that coming because of the way we’ve worked in pre-season, and I know pre-season can be false in terms of results.

“But they’re human beings and I'm sure they’ll react. They know they didn’t perform to the levels they know they can perform. So we go again on Saturday.”