Sam Collins loving every minute of caretaking at Hartlepool United

Sam Collins during the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID

Sam Collins during the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID

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TWO weeks into his new role and Hartlepool United’s caretaker boss Sam Collins insists he is still loving “every minute”.

Pools are yet to appoint a new permanent manager following the resignation of former boss Colin Cooper a fortnight ago today.

In the interim, Collins is in charge and he said it already feels like he has been doing the job a long time.

The 37-year-old player coach has ambitions of becoming a manager one day and has previously admitted he would love to be Pools boss.

For now though he is content with steering the ship on a temporary basis.

“I feel like I’ve been doing the job for a long time,” said Collins, speaking ahead of today’s Sky Bet League Two match at home to Luton Town.

“My phone has never stopped and there’s so much to deal with – making sure everything and the lads are looked after.

“There’s a lot to get through but I’ve enjoyed it all – every minute of it.

“I have not had time to think about missing playing really.

“Of course I do miss it as I have loved playing ever since I was a kid but I am loving this as well.

“I don’t have much choice,” joked Collins.

Collins, who is being supported by coaches Stephen Pears and Brian Honour, has admitted to having sleepless nights since taking over.

Last weekend’s 2-1 win over Exeter City helped settle nerves a little, with Pools climbing off the bottom of the Football League to 21st place.

Collins has been stamping his own authority on the job and is enjoying the challenge of helping pull Pools further up the league.

He added: “I slept a bit better Wednesday night and that was the first time I have had a good night’s sleep.

“I am really enjoying it though, I am buzzing and I cannot wait for the matches to come round.

“I have made changes to the way we do things because I wanted to freshen us up and get more energy in the team.”

Collins’ new-look Pools side impressed last weekend in Devon and he is keen to turn Victoria Park into a fortress.

He added: “I have been telling the lads to get on the front foot at home, get in the opposition’s faces, play forward and be positive.

“We need to test the goalkeeper and all of those messages are all about building momentum in football matches.

“If you do that and get the fans going, egging you on, it is great.

“I can think of so many times when we have done that – like Morecambe at home last season – and the fans can get you through games.

“But we have to create that, we can’t just wait for the fans to start it for us.

“Once we have them with us, it builds pressure, builds momentum and that is when people make mistakes.”

l Visit www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk for team news and a full-time whistle match report from Victoria Park as Hartlepool United take on Luton Town.

Follow @RichMennearJP for live updates throughout the Sky Bet League Two match.