A question of quality for Hartlepool boss Jones
Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones has called on his players to show more quality as his side get ready to 'go again' for Saturday's trip to Blackpool.
It has been a mixed week or so for the Pools, whose sequence of five unbeaten games on home turf came to an end last weekend when they were beaten 2-0 by Wycombe Wanderers.
However they ended a five-and-a-half month wait for an away win the previous Tuesday when they beat Cambridge United 1-0.
The defeat against Wycombe saw Jones’ side slip one place to 21st in the table, but with Newport County and Leyton Orient both losing at home, the gap to the relegation zone remains at eight points.
Jones was full of praise for the effort shown by his players against Wycombe and is looking forward to getting back to work with them on the training ground.
“They are a young group of people and I can’t fault them for Saturday,” he said.
“They ran themselves into the ground, but there can be more quality? Of course there can. We had a lot of tired bodies after Tuesday’s game. But we’ll put it to bed and we’ll get ready to go again for the next one.
“We’ll hopefully learn from Saturday, I don’t think it was all bad.”
Jones felt that Pools lacked that bit of “quality” in the final third of the pitch, but says the overall picture remains healthy.
“We got into some great positions,” he explained. “But you need that bit of quality if you want to win.
“We had that one bit of quality the other night at Cambridge and finished it. We probably got into better positions on Saturday but we’ve put it over the bar or didn’t get it past the first man.
“We’ve not been able to work on things like that as much because we’ve been concentrating on things to make us more solid, and have a plan to get the ball, keep the ball then open sides up.
“I just think we when we get into those positions we have to be far more clinical. We need more quality and that’s what we’ll work on.
“I’ve said it before we’ve only been here a short space of time but I think you can see the difference in the way we play and what we are trying to do.
“It’s probably six months late from what we are trying to achieve.
“Our priority is to be safe and then build – there will be players who come in and players who will leave.”
Hartlepool are likely to be backed by around 1,500 fans who have took advantage of the £5 ticket offer.