New Pools boss Cooper vows to be ‘hands on’

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COLIN Cooper insists he will be a “hands on” boss at Hartlepool United.

The new Pools manager told SportMail that he will be out on the training ground at Maiden Castle on a regular basis.

Cooper took charge of Pools last month in succession to the sacked John Hughes and will have Craig Hignett as his right-hand-man.

Both Cooper and Hignett spent every day out on the training ground at Rockliffe Park as coaches at the Middlesbrough Academy.

And the Boro legend explained that he wants to do the same at Pools.

“Yeah, I’ll definitely be on the grass as much as possible,” said the 46-year-old.

“Having Craig here with me is great, at certain points it will allow me the opportunity to stand back and observe.

“But it’s great being in amongst it, that’s the kind of guy I am – I am hands on.

“From time to time I can stand back and have an overview rather than being in the thick of it.

“But I plan to be very hands on from day one of pre-season.”

Pools have had quite a mix of characters in the dug out over the years – from the likes of Chris Turner, Neale Cooper and John Hughes who were never shy to let their emotions out, to the more impassive Mick Tait and Mike Newell.

Newell may have been a promotion winner but given his impassive demeanour you could never tell whether Pools were two up or two down.

Cooper says he is no Paolo Di Canio on the sidelines, but he insists the fans will see that he cares with a passion.

“Sometimes I will be demonstrative and sometimes, hopefully, a bit more studious,” said the former Boro, Millwall, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland defender.

“But all the time I want people to know that I’m desperately, desperately passionate to do well at this job.

“There is one thing I have always done and I think every club I’ve played for will appreciate this.

“I believe I showed people I cared – I wore my heart on my sleeve and I’d like to think people will see that here.”

Cooper and Hignett will take their first session at the Durham training base on June 24.

The side head out to the Netherlands the following week to build up for their League Two campaign, playing matches on July 4 and 6 at Almere City and Telstar.

Before then, other dates to note are the Capital One Cup draw on Monday, June 17, and the League Two fixture release two days later.