Pools’ Boro loanee Jackson guns for Fratton Park success against the odds

Adam Jackson
Adam Jackson
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Adam Jackson hopes to celebrate renewing his Hartlepool United vows with a victory at Portsmouth.

Pools announced this week that they had extended the loan deal for the Middlesbrough centre-half until January 3.

And Jackson said he could not be happier to be staying for a second month.

The 21-year-old made a great debut in the 1-0 FA Cup first-round win over Cheltenham Town last month and was in great form in the Sky-televised 3-1 victory over Leyton Orient.

In fact, he’s been in good form at the heart of the defence, full stop.

Boro wanted him to get some Football League experience, as did Jackson, while Pools were desperate for a centre-half.

Boss Ronnie Moore had wanted an older hand, but Jackson has played superbly.

It has been, thus far, a marriage made in heaven.

“I’m chuffed to bits that I’m here until the start of January,” he said.

“It will be good to get some more games in through December and hopefully help the lads and the club.

“I’m really enjoying it – the games, the training, the atmosphere, everything, the lads have been brilliant.

“Tomorrow is going to be tough, playing a team right up there at the top of the league.

“But, if we turn up on the day, I definitely think we are capable of getting a result.

“If you look at our game against Oxford, we can match these teams.

“If we play like that, I don’t see any reason why we can’t win that game.

“I thought we played some really good football and we were unlucky not to get something from it.

“If we repeat that football, I definitely think we can get something.”

For someone who had not played in a senior competitive fixture before joining Pools, the Darlington-born defender has been almost flawless at the back.

He has made his contribution to an improved Pools run of form, two wins, two defeats and a draw.

Jackson is happy with his form, as are Boro, and he’s been able to show his worth to two national and international audiences with the win over Orient and the draw at Salford both televised.

“I’ve only been here five weeks and we’ve been on telly twice and we’ll be on again on Tuesday against Salford in the replay,” he said.

“It’s been good experience for me, and Middlesbrough are happy with how it has gone so far.

“I’ve spoken to acouple of the coaches and they’ve been pleased I have been getting first-team exposure.

“It’s important to have played men’s footy and in the Football League.

“They are pleased with me.

“For me, it’s brilliant to be playing in front of big crowds and in important games.

“The Under-21 matches are good games, but you are playing in front of 50 or 100 people.

“These are big games for Hartlepool, they are matches that really mean something to the club and the fans.

“It’s brilliant to have that experience.”

And, on the subject of experience, there are few players with more of that commodity than his central defensive partner, Mathew Bates.

The 29-year-old, from Stockton, has played in every division in the Football League as well as huge FA Cup and UEFA Cup ties with Boro.

When Bates and Jackson were thrown together it was as much by circumstance as planning following injuries and suspensions.

However, they clicked from minute one and they have reeled off five magnificent displays.

“I really enjoy playing alongside Batesy,” Jackson said. “I’ve said before what a great talker he is and how he helps me through the games.

“Obviously, his experience is invaluable, so it’s fantastic we’ve struck up a great partnership.

“I think I’ve been doing all right and it’s up to me to keep that going.”