Hartlepool United boss insists it was an easy decision to make Sam Collins part of his staff

Sam Collins.
Sam Collins.
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Dave Jones admits it was an easy decision to make Sam Collins part of his Hartlepool United staff.

The new Pools manager brought in his own backroom team when he took charge of the club as successor to Craig Hignett who was sacked following the defeat at Crawley.

Sam deserved to be there, Sam is part of my staff now.

Jones installed long-time associates, Kevin Cooper and Alex Armstrong, as assistant manager and coach, but says Collins is “part of my staff now”.

When the club announced the arrival of Jones’s appointments, they also revealed the departure of scout Tommy Miller, goalkeeper coach Tony Caig and fitness guru Craig Hubbard.

Collins was confirmed though as remaining in his role as development coach, a position he took up following the sacking of Ronnie Moore 12 months ago.

The 39-year-old was installed as caretaker manager after Hignett’s departure and prepared the team for last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Stevenage.

Jones, who joined Pools 10 days ago, admitted he was in charge against Borough but deliberately kept a low profile to allow Collins a deserved moment in the limelight.

“I did last Saturday!” said the 60-year-old who watched the match from the Cyril Knowles Stand, where he sat with chairman, Gary Coxall.

“It was my team, I’d been in the club for three days.

“But Sam deserved to be there.

“I said to him if we win ‘I’ll do it but if we lose you’ll do it!’

“Sam deserved to be there, Sam is part of my staff now.”

Indeed, Collins, who had been leading the reserve team, watched the second string in mid-week alongside Jones, Cooper and Armstrong, while Ian McGuckin took charge of the 1-0 victory over Rotherham.

And the former skipper, who made 269 appearances for the club, was involved in training at Maiden Castle, where he assisted the management team in getting Pools ready for today’s League Two match at Newport County.

“If Sam wants to grow then he’ll learn,” said Jones, who says head physio Ian Gallagher and pre-hab conditioning coach Stuart Parnaby have also slotted in.

“If he can’t learn from me after 1,000 games under my belt then who is he going to learn from?

“I’m not frightened to give out my knowledge, if he wants it.

“He’s slotted in hand in glove, so has Buster [Gallagher] and Stuart.”

However, Jones said that he expects everyone to fit in, buy in AND produce the goods.

“If you don’t want to slot in, what’s going to happen?” said Jones. “You are out.

“If they are not good enough, they are gone.

“But at the moment, I feel a good little team being built and I rely a lot on trust and loyalty.

“What I’ve seen of Sam, he’ll be a good asset, why would I want to change that?”