Sam Collins a ‘casualty’ of the ‘drastic’ changes Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones is making

Sam Collins with Dave Jones
Sam Collins with Dave Jones

Dave Jones is standing by his decision to discard Sam Collins at Hartlepool United.

The long-serving player, captain, coach and three-time caretaker boss at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium was shown the door last Friday.

It’s amicable for my part and from what Sam said it was amicable from his side

DAVE JONES

Jones wants to build a new culture and mentality at the club after five successive years fighting relegation.

And Collins appears to be a major “casualty”, to quote the manager, of those seasons spent at the wrong end of Leagues One and Two.

“When new management comes in if you want to change things, drastically as we are doing, there will be casualties along the way,” Jones told SportMail.

“Unfortunately, Sam is one of them, but I wish him all the best.

“I hope he can find something quickly.”

Jones did not like the word “sacked” and denied saying previously that Collins was part of his “team”, alongside assistant boss, Kevin Cooper, and coach Alex Armstrong, the latter who has worked with him throughout his managerial career.

“We didn’t let Sam go, we didn’t renew his contract,” stated Jones.

“What I said [before] was I was assessing everything.

“Within that assessment I just felt that we, the club, need to go in a different direction.

“Unfortunately there will be casualties along the way and he turns out to be one of those casualties.

“It’s amicable for my part and from what Sam said it was amicable from his side.”

Collins had worked as assistant to Ronnie Moore and was his sidekick through the Great Escape and the following season.

When Moore was sacked 13 months ago, Collins was retained by the club though new boss Craig Hignett choose not to use him as his assistant, instead bringing in Curtis Fleming.

The former central defender was instead made development coach though after a brief spell, very brief, as caretaker boss, Jones kept him in the first team picture.

“What I’ve seen of Sam, he’ll be a good asset, why would I want to change that?” Jones said in an interview with SportMail at the end of January.

However, the manager has clearly come to a different viewpoint though he says there are no plans, yet, to replace him.

Jones added that he is still evaluating all aspects at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

“I’m assessing,” he said. “I’m still going through the whole football club.

“We’ve only been in five or six weeks.

“I just felt the club needs a change.

“It’s been there a long time, sometimes you get stuck in your ways and you have to change that.”