Kelly’s Eye on Pools: Good luck, Yogi

ROVER THE MOON: John Hughes shares a joke with Michael Barron in the win at Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
ROVER THE MOON: John Hughes shares a joke with Michael Barron in the win at Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
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SEVEN days ago on this very page, Kelly’s Eye featured Colin Cooper.

Coops, if you pardon the familiarity, is the 15th Hartlepool United manager this fat fool has dealt with during his quarter of a century at the night Mail.

Today, I am going to write about Pools’ boss No.14, John Hughes.

With one relatively well-known exception, I have got on like a house on fire with all the managers. The one who didn’t like me would have put me in a house that was on fire given the opportunity.

And I would not blame him.

Some I have got to know better than others and some are dreams to work with. Some are more distant. For instance, Mick Wadsworth did not like the press, but he supplied perfect copy every time.

One of the bosses I knew the least was Hughes. But, I have to say, he was a really nice fella, who was unlucky to lose his job at the end of last season.

His points-per-game ratio, had it been spread over the entire season, would have been good enough to keep Pools in League One.

Yogi got no money, no players, yet came close to keeping Pools up, only to get the push. I think he deserved a shot at this season and said so.

The people whose views matter, the club’s owners, thought otherwise.

I liked him. I once arrived a couple of minutes late to a Thursday press conference and mouthed apologies as I took my seat. “Don’t ever be bluidy late for me again,” he rapped in his distinctive Leith tones.

Yet, at the end, I got a hug from the big bear known as “Yogi”.

Hughes is in the running for the Inverness job vacated by the departure of Terry Butcher to Hibs.

Ex-Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels is understood to be the favourite to take over. But Hughes was not the fave at Pools, but he got the job. Kelly’s Eye wishes the big bear well.