I knew my team 10 minutes after being given the job

DEBUT: Lewis Hawkins.
DEBUT: Lewis Hawkins.

SAM Collins has revealed he knew his starting line-up for his first game in charge of Hartlepool United within 10 minutes of being given the job.

The 37-year-old – whose young Pools side lost 2-1 to Sheffield United last night – was parachuted into the dugout after Colin Cooper resigned after the 3-0 home defeat to Carlisle United.

Collins, who is also in charge of the reserve side at the club, handed starts to left-back Dan Jones, 19, and midfielders Lewis Hawkins, 21, and Kieran Green in a brave move.

But the trio all excelled, and afterwards Collins revealed had no hesitation in bringing the younger players into the starting line-up.

He added: “When I was asked by the chairman to look after things I had a team in my head, within 10 minutes.

“That was the team I was always going to play.

“We played Rotherham away in a reserve game two weeks ago and I told three or four of them that if I was manager of this football club that I would play them in the first team.

“Those lads that I said that to, that is what I did.”

Collins now faces a wait to see if he will be in charge of the League Two game against Exeter on Saturday, with former Carlisle United boss Graham Kavanagh tipped to take control of Pools on a short-term basis.