John Hughes’ meeting with Pools hierarchy is delayed

John Hughes (centre) with Russ Green (left) and Andy Collett sit in the stands during the second half of the game against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes (centre) with Russ Green (left) and Andy Collett sit in the stands during the second half of the game against Coventry City. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes has shelved plans for next season to concentrate on “winning the last four games” of Hartlepool United’s season.

Pools face Bury at Victoria Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) knowing that defeat could confirm their demotion to the bottom tier.

Hughes had told SportMail seven days ago that he was keen to set up a meeting with chairman Ken Hodcroft and chief executive Russ Green in a bid to draw up plans for the summer.

That, however, has now been delayed, as the Pools boss explained: “I haven’t had that meeting.

“Russ has been very busy and it’s something I’ve came off a bit as well because maybe I let my focus wander.

“My focus should be on the last four games and making sure we’re foot to the pedal and really going for it.”

It now appears likely the club will stick to their usual procedure of waiting until after the final game of the campaign before deciding on the future of players whose contracts are about to expire.

In the meantime, Pools will prepare for the visit of second-from-bottom Bury.

Hughes’ men are eight points from safety following a run of seven matches without a win and a goal.

And the Scot went on: “We need four victories – that’s it.

“If it doesn’t go our way tomorrow then it could be the nail in the coffin.

“But we need to keep the fans on our side and keep pride in the club.

“I want to finish on a high regardless.”

Hughes will be making sure his players are fired up for a fixture which could determine their League One fate.

He was astonished at the absence of fight during last month’s 3-0 defeat at Oldham Athletic, and that is a performance he is keen to avoid.

“I thought I would not have to give a team-talk against Oldham,” he said.

“That was similar circumstances to tomorrow’s game.

“It was that cup-final mentality I was after but we did not get it.

“So I will get into them this week to make sure they are ready for it.”