If the Hartlepool United squad was “half as good” as the backroom staff the club would be pushing for promotion, insists manager Ronnie Moore.
Moore has rightly taken a lot of plaudits since guiding the club to safety against all the odds – with rock-bottom Pools 10 points adrift at the start of March.
But he is adamant it wouldn’t have been possible without the hardwork of his backroom staff – assistant manager Sam Collins, head physio Ian Gallagher, kitman Martyn Brown and strength and conditioning coach Craig Hubbard.
The sight of the close-knit team celebrating wildly on the bench became a regular scene in the final weeks of the season as Pools avoided the drop into non-league football. And modest Moore is keen to ensure his team get their share of the praise.
“I get the pat on the back being the manager,” Moore told SportMail. “But I am not daft and neither are our supporters.
“They realise it is not a one-man band here at Pools.
“This is a good, solid group and if the players were half as good as the backroom staff are then we would be winning championships and not
fighting at the wrong end of the league.
“That is what we have to try and get into the squad, that same togetherness that the staff and backroom team have here.”
When Moore was appointed boss in mid-December, player coach Collins was named as his assistant and the pair have struck up a strong bond.
Moore has previously praised the work of his Number Two, with the Pools manager delighted with the ongoing efforts of his backroom team overall.
“Pre-season is a good chance for us to work even closer together and we have forged a strong bond in my time here,” added Moore.
“Sam does a bit of coaching and I do a bit of coaching, it is not all about Ronnie Moore.
“The players got us out of the mess but they also got us in it to start with, one or two of them.
“But Sam and the rest of the backroom staff have been unbelievable.”
Collins, who has made 585 career appearances, is still officially registered as a Pools player but the 37-year-old hasn’t played since being named assistant.
The veteran defender keeps himself fit but it seems unlikely the Yorkshireman will pull on a blue and white Pools jersey again.