CARETAKER boss Sam Collins has revealed he would love to remain Hartlepool United manager – despite starting his tenure with a defeat.
The 37-year-old – whose young Pools side lost 2-1 to Sheffield United in the Johnstone Paint Trophy last night – was parachuted into the dugout after Colin Cooper resigned on Saturday after losing against Carlisle United.
The veteran defender faces stiff competition for the manager’s job, with former Carlisle boss Graham Kavanagh, pictured, again at The Vic last night.
But Collins did his chances no harm and it was a much more energetic and spirited performance from Pools, who were unlucky to lose.
Collins said: “I don’t know how long I will be doing this for but I love the club, have been here a long time and understand the way the fans think.
“Hartlepool is the type of place where I am from, working class people who want players to work hard.
“I am from that background and understand it.
“One day I want to be a manager and when I do I want players who work hard.
“All the players I selected, every one of them did that.”
Asked if he wanted the manager’s job, Collins said: “We’ll have to see what happens. Results could dictate that.
“What you will get, for however long I am in charge, is lads who will give 100 per cent.
“I can accept them making mistakes and losing but what I cannot accept is players not giving everything that they have got.
“Every player on that pitch gave everything.
“We lost in the right way.”
Jose Baxter opened the scoring for the away side in the 30th minute before Michael Duckworth scored his first professional goal for the club to equalise in the 50th minute, only for Jamal Campbell-Ryce to slot home the winner for the Blades late on.
Despite the defeat Collins is enjoying his spell in the dugout.
Collins said: “Colin (Cooper) has been great to me from day one but what happened on Saturday, there is nothing I can do about it.
“I am employed by this football club and I want the best for this football club.
“I love it here and always have done from day one.
“If the chairman wants me to look after things, for however long, that is my job to do that.
“I will try and get the best out of every single player that I can.”
And if Pools win the next six games, would he accept the job?
Collins added: “I am still registered as a player and won’t play on forever.
“If that happens somewhere down the line then that is something I have to think about.
“My focus is Exeter City on Saturday and the most important thing is we climb the league with wins.”