DAVE JONES is not for turning. The Hartlepool United manager may not be the most active character on the touchline, but he won’t be changing his ways for anyone.
Pools take on Barnet at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium tomorrow in desperate need of three points and some character and fight.
Easter Monday’s defeat at Leyton Orient was embarrassing and means that since winning at Cambridge on March 14, Pools have only taken two points from a possible 18.
Loading article content
It leaves them a point in front of the bottom two with three games to go.
Pools have reduced ticket prices tomorrow to £10 and £5 to entice a big crowd and Jones said: “We are at home, and we always try and make it hard for the opposition. There’s always something to play for, professional footballers are paid to do their job.
“Every game matters – who wants to go out and not perform in front of a crowd? Who wants to be shouted at and ridiculed?
“Everyone responds to praise. But when it’s not going well you have to dig in and that’s what you have to rely on. Once they cross the white line then you are passing the baton - it’s up to them, you have to rely on them and the team you have picked to get a result.
“Once they come back in at half-time then we do our work with them.’’
And Jones will be in the dug out tomorrow, watching and taking it all in – without any touchline histrionics.
“All of this thing about running up and down the touchline, doing somersaults when you score and crap that goes on, it’s just words, they mean nothing,’’ he said.
“Because you don’t stand up and rant on the touchline you don’t care? What are you actually doing there? Players have fold away ears, they don’t listen to you.
“Get instructions across on Monday at Orient and there’s 2,000 whistles blowing in protest against the owners there, it’s deafening.
“You have to, once done your work in the week, rely on your players – and that’s the case at any club in the land. Any club.
“Some do somersaults, some sit there, some stand, some watch from the stand. Everyone thinks it’s not working.
“I’ve done this for over 1,000 games. That’s what I do. It works.
“No-one is going to change me. The dug-outs at the ground are down, deep. I don’t sit, I stand. I can’t sit, my knees are knackered.
“Because I don’t stand another two foot up on the touchline and move about, what difference does it make? I still shout, I still tell my players what I want.
“Sometimes they will listen, sometimes they won’t. I’ve said all my career – don’t get confused with passion and emotion.
“I don’t have any emotion, but I have plenty of passion and I can play the game in my head.’’
And he added: “Planning, looking, I do it. But everyone is different – some run, some stand, some sit, some jump in the crowd.
“But watch someone when they score and they run and jump in the crowd… and then watch then they concede, what do they do? It’s all about perception. The players know here what is at stake, everyone on the football side knows.
“There’s a lot at stake for the players, me, staff, the club and we are trying to make changes.
“We don’t want this happening every year, it’s nothing new. This has gone on for years at this football club.
“It’s nothing new, we are trying to change it and it takes a little bit of time.’’
Goalkeeper Trevor Carson was back in training yesterday after a January shoulder operation and he could be named on the bench tomorrow.
Defender Liam Donnelly is absent, after his red card on Monday for confronting referee Dean Whitestone. He has a two-game ban as it was his second dismissal of the season.
Jones said: "He's lucky he didn't get ten. You see players squaring up to players, but not to a referee. It's stupidity. He knows you can't do that, he's been told but he doesn't need telling.
"That's not my job to tell a player not to put his head in on the ref."