Hartlepool United will be facing a “wounded” animal when Plymouth Argyle visit the Northern Gas & Power Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
So says Dave Jones as the Pools boss prepares to pit his managerial wits with a third successive promotion chaser.
After a 4-0 defeat at Mansfield and a 3-0 loss at Luton Town, Pools at least have the consolation of being back on their home patch, albeit against a team chasingan automatic route into League One.
They will take on a team smarting from a last-gasp 3-2 home defeat to Leyton Orient on Tuesday night, the Londoners winning for the first time in 2017.
“Plymouth will be wounded,” said Jones. “But you get results like that sometimes, nothing should surprise you in football.
“But Plymouth are up there for a reason, they’ve had a very good season.
“It’s another very tough game but we have to stand up and be counted, not just the players, but me and everyone at the club.
“After that bad start at Luton the players did that.
“They have set the tone now and I want to see them carry on from where they left off on Tuesday.
“Talking to the Luton lads after the match, they said no matter what they tried they could not get near us.
“They had to clear one off the line, one went just past the post and one went over the bar.”
Nathan Thomas, Lewis Alessandra and Michael Woods all ‘frightened the goal and Jones wants Pools to shed the nearly men tag.
“We were in the ascendancy but could not get a goal and they get one against the run of play,” said Jones. “We needed to get something from our play.”