Former Southampton boss ready to face Pompey flak

DAVE JONES is expecting a rough ride from Pompey fans tomorrow.

Hartlepool boss Dave Jones
Hartlepool boss Dave Jones

But the Hartlepool boss sung the praises of the Blues’ supporters as he plots to put the brakes on their side’s promotion charge at Victoria Park.

Pompey have sold their 1,000-plus allocation for the long trip north tomorrow.

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Jones feels he will be reminded of his association with Southampton at the game. The 60-year-old spent three years with Pompey’s rivals from 1997 to 2000.

Jones explained it won’t be the first time he’s had flak fired in his direction from Blues fans.

He told the Hartlepool Mail: ‘I’m sure I’ll be reminded that I was at Southampton.

‘They won’t have forgotten.

‘One game I went to Fratton Park they were making chants and I’d only gone there to watch a mate!’

Jones was full of praise for the success Pompey have enjoyed so far this season.

He feels they are firmly in the driving seat for automatic promotion with seven games of the campaign remaining.

Despite expecting a rough time from the Blues followers, Jones acknowledged the strength of their backing.

And he is feels that is echoed by the quality of Paul Cook’s team at this level.

Hartlepool are showing strong form at home, however, and have won three and drawn two of their past six games on their own patch.

Jones knows his team will have to be on form against the Blues.

He said: ‘They are trying to get out of the division and are one of the favourites.

‘They have a very good team, really good players, and fantastic support.

‘I’m looking forward to seeing them.

‘I know their manager and he has a good side, they’ll be hard to beat, and if we do get a result we’ll have earned it.’

Jones will be renewing acquaintances with Cook at tomorrow’s game.

The pair knew each other from when Jones was in charge of Sheffield Wednesday and Cook was boss at Chesterfield.

With 11 miles between the two outfits the pair faced in pre-season on a couple of occasions.

And with both men being Scousers, Jones explained there was common ground.

He said: ‘I knew him when he was at Chesterfield, I helped him out a couple of times in pre-season when I was at Sheffield Wednesday.

‘He’s a Liverpool lad too so there is that bond there, but he’ll be wanting to beat me as much as I want to beat him.’