Dave Jones will this week set about changing Hartlepool United’s “mentality”.
The Pools boss suffered the proverbial reality check as his first away game in charge ended up with a sorry 3-1 defeat at League Two’s bottom club, Newport County.
Pools were as bad at Rodney Parade as they had been good the previous Saturday in their 2-0 win over Stevenage.
Jones will continue to look up the table rather than over his shoulder, but says one of his jobs will be to get the players into a winning mindset.
“It was nice to see the good side like last week against Stevenage,” said Jones.
“But then when you see the bad side you know why [the team are where they are].
“It’s steeped in them this season – good result, bad result, good result, bad, etc.
“Talking to Sam [Collins] that’s the trait. That’s how it’s been and that’s why we have been brought in to change that mentality and hopefully we can. We weren’t brought into the club because they were going well.”
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss has seen plenty to encourage him, technically, in his week and a half at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
He says he will work the players hard, physically and mentally.
“We work on everything,” said Jones. “I saw certain traits here that the club has had for a while, play well one week, not the next.
“We were superb the previous match – outstanding in every department.
“On Saturday, we weren’t and sometimes you get that with young players.
“They will all be good players, but they are learning in division that is unforgiving sometimes, and they are coming up against bigger and stronger players. They have to learn to adapt to that and learn in a division which can be unforgiving.”
While the loss in Wales moved Pools three points closer to the bottom side, the difference with the relegation zone remains five places and five points.
Pools will have an opportunity to lift themselves a place or two this Saturday when they host 16th-placed Yeovil.
Newport County: Day, Pipe, Jones (Demetriou 82), O’Brien, Nelson, Butler, Bennett, Rose (Flynn 78), Williams (Samuel 86), Bird, Reid. Subs not used: Sheehan, Bojaj, Rigg, Bittner. Goals: Bird 15, Williams 56, Butler 71.
Hartlepool Utd: Bartlett, Donnelly, Bates, Harrison, Kavanagh, Walker, Featherstone, Woods (Smith 55), Hawkins (Laurent 85), Oates (Amond 67), Alessandra. Subs: Fryer, Deverdics, Martin, Richardson. Goal: Amond 90. Att: 2,271. Ref: K Johnson