HARTLEPOOL United accept that many supporters may be “underwhelmed” by the arrival of John Hughes – but they insist the Scot will soon win fans over, writes Craig Hope.
Pools chief executive Russ Green is adamant that the club have landed the right man and cannot wait for the 48-year-old – known as ‘Yogi’ – to prove his worth to the Victoria Park faithful, starting with Saturday’s visit of relegation rivals Coventry City.
“John will bring passion, commitment, organisation and drive,” Green told SportMail, ahead of today’s unveiling of the former Falkirk, Hibernian and Livingston chief.
“He will restore confidence and belief in the lads, and they need that right now.
“It was that belief and his determination to make a name for himself which impressed us.
“He is a good personality and a born-winner type.
“I understand fans may be a little underwhelmed at first – but when they hear him talk and listen to his ideas then they will be overwhelmed.
“I honestly can’t stress how impressive an individual he is and we’re absolutely delighted he’s here.”
Hughes will inherit a side some nine points from safety and without a win in 16 matches.
Green admits that his first mandate with be to save Pools from relegation to League Two, but beyond that he sees a new era for the club.
“John is an ambitious guy,” he said, “He’s wanted to manage in England for a while now and we’ve been aware of him.
“He’s got a good track record of building a team and building a club, like he did at Falkirk - we want him to do that here.
“First of all, the ultimate aim this season is to keep us up.
“He will not be a miracle worker and it will be tough.
“But with a little bit of confidence, which he will bring, we know these players are capable of better.
“The form needs to pick up drastically and we know that, but we’re confident John can being about that improvement.”
Hughes, however, is unlikely to be afforded funds to strengthen his number.
Indeed, the new laws surrounding Financial Fair Play dictate that Pools can only allocate 65 per cent of their turnover on players’ salaries, a point they’re already tipping.
“John knows the remit,” Green explained, “And he knows the parameters he has to work within.
“He will work his socks off with the players here to get absolutely everything out of them.
“We can’t wait for him to get started and he can’t wait to get down to work.”