Dave Jones is watching Hartlepool United through “young eyes” – and not because of the tender years of his players.
The Pools boss says he feels full of youthful energy, even though he is into his fifth decade in the game as player, coach and manager.
Jones has turned 60 but is relishing one of the toughest jobs in his career and warned observers not to judge him on his age.
“Some think people like me are stuck in your ways,” he said. “I’m definitely not that.
“I look through young eyes, my body might not look young, but my eyes are!
“I don’t feel my age, I have a buzz doing this.”
But, for all his zest as he looks to lead Pools away from the League Two danger zone, he makes no secret of the fact he has vast experience in the sport.
Jones has managed at Stockport, Southampton, Wolves, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday, enjoying success at each club, including an FA Cup final with the Bluebirds.
The Scouser has no issues with people taking a different view to him and says he will listen, but, ultimately, he has the final say and decision.
“The players will have an input,” said Jones who is keen to foster a strong spirit at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium with everyone having a responsibility.
“But if I don’t think it’s right I won’t do it.
“They have to bank on my experience, they have to draw on that.”
Jones admits the opening stages to the journey have not been easy but will continue to drive Pools in the right direction.
“It’s all a learning process,” he said.
“The club is on a path, we may have to have a detour now and again but the line is there.”
After two difficult away days at Mansfield (4-0) and Luton (3-0), Pools recovered with a spirited 1-1 draw against promotion-chasing Plymouth last weekend.
Pools were better in all areas at the Vic, giving Jones encouragement that his squad are improving.
“There is plenty to build on,” said Jones. “We think the players are reaping the benefits of what we are doing.
“You’d have to ask them if they feel it’s been beneficial.
“But we [on the coaching staff] can see it.
“We played so well at Luton for the last 75 minutes.
“They couldn’t get the ball for long periods, the only thing we couldn’t do was score a goal.
“Against Plymouth, we had to dig in for the first 15 minutes, then took control for long spells and then. for the last 15 minutes. dig deep again/
“You are never going to get 90 minutes in a game going your own way.
“In the bits you are not on top you have to make sure you shut down everything. We’re learning that.”