RITCHIE Jones has withdrawn his transfer request and insists he is focused on playing for Hartlepool United.

The midfielder last week asked to leave Victoria Park, a move which disappointed boss Chris Turner.

But yesterday, as striker Michael Mackay joined Gateshead on a six-month loan deal, the former Manchester United man pledged his future to the club claiming his actions were down to offfield matters which were affecting him.

Jones said: “I think towards the end of last season things were getting to me and perhaps at times I carried that frustration to the pitch with me.

“What I did last week was a result of that and looking back I now know that it was a rash decision on my part.

“I’ve managed to get my head around things now and I want everyone to know that I am extremely happy to be playing here.’’ And he insisted in a statement on the club’s official website: “I’ve not had an agent for the last year and don’t have one now, so I’ve never been looking for a move away from the club.

“I’m really excited about the new season.’’ Turner, meanwhile, insists Mackay, who Gateshead offered £5,000 for last season, will come back to the club in January ready to push for a first-team spot.

The Pools boss will also this week hold talks with Steve Haslam and Colin Larkin about possible deals after the pair played and impressed in Saturday’s friendly win at Mansfield Town.

Pools, who have been given a bye into second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, have also offered a trial to Cambridge City’s Scott Neilson.

The 22-year-old winger has twice played for Derby in pre-season and has also been on trial at Norwich.

Meanwhile, Rune Lange, the Norwegian striker who was injured three games after signing for Pools last season, is considering retiring.

A shoulder injury suffered in February is still keeping him out and Turner recently said he wouldn’t be renewing the striker’s short-term deal this summer.

“I’m considering doing other things than playing football,’’ he admitted. “I have been much damaged in recent years, and it is a struggle for motivation.’’ A Pools side last night won 4-0 at Garforth Town.

Pools fielded a number of trialists in their side, and their goals came from Joe Lamplough, Adam Boyd, Matty Tymon and Billy Greulich.

Derby’s Jeremy Bossekota, Sunderland’s Niall McArdle and former Rangers defender Ross Harvey all played.