Livid Dave lambasts pitch as ‘disgrace’
NEW Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones labelled the Rodney Parade pitch “a disgrace” as his side went down to a disappointing defeat at the Football League’s bottom club, Newport County.
A debut goal from Ryan Bird after 15 minutes and second-half strikes from Aaron Williams and Dan Butler sealed a first win since November 19 for the home side, who moved to within three points of safety.
And Jones, who saw substitute Padraig Amond scramble in a consolation goal in stoppage time, admitted that Newport dealt with the poor playing surface more effectively than his troops.
“We just didn’t compete with the conditions or the corners,” said the former Cardiff City manager on his return to South Wales.
“We have to be bigger and braver than that, that’s what we have said to the boys, they are a young bunch and they have to learn from it.
“We have to play, but on that [the pitch] it is difficult. But we didn’t adapt to it – they did we didn’t.
“The pitch is a disgrace but it is the same for them.
“They adapted to it but it is a joke, it shouldn’t even be in the Football League, it is scandalous.”
The first two Newport goals were close-range headers from Craig Reid corners before Butler wrapped up the three points with a stunning half-volley into the top corner on 71 minutes.
“We knew everything that they were going to do, but we just didn’t deal with them especially at set-pieces,” said Jones.
“The pitch surprised me a little bit, but we should have dealt better with that.”
Meanwhile, Newport manager Graham Westley was more concerned with how his new-look team took the game to their opponents.
He’s added 12 new players to his squad so far this month and the changes are paying off.
“We’re going from strength to strength at the moment,” said Westley, whose resurgent side head to 22nd-place Cheltenham Town next Saturday.
“We’re three unbeaten now, having had a horrible run of results.
“Lads have come in, they’re starting to settle together and they’re playing football that looks more accustomed to the top end of the league than the bottom end of the league.
“It’s a positive run of three games for us but we’ve got to make sure that we come back next weekend ready to improve on what we did this weekend, although this was still a very good step.”
STAR MAN RYAN BIRD Newport