SAM Collins has hit back at suggestion Hartlepool United have little left to play for this season – insisting the livelihood of several players is at stake.
With a number of contracts set to expire in June and manager Neale Cooper promising a renovation of his squad, Collins believes the remaining six matches are something of a trial period.
On top of that the Pools skipper is determined to better last season’s return of 57 points – they currently sit on 50 in 11th – and secure a top-10 finish.
“There’s still a heck of a lot for us all to play for,” he told SportMail today.
“First of all we want to keep proving a point to the manager.
“He’s not been here very long and there’s a few lads whose contracts are up in the summer.
“But I want to play well every week anyway.
“For yourself you’ve got to want to do it – if you do that then only then can you go away and have a good summer.
“We’ve also got the target of improving on last season and there’s still quite a bit of work to be done if we’re going to do that.”
Collins himself is just thankful that he’s fit to figure in the campaign run-in.
He thought he’d suffered a torn calf muscle during the warm-up at Walsall last month and feared his season could be over.
And he laughed off the question of how much gas is left in his tank with his next birthday being his 35th in June.
“I’m sure you lot (the Press) think my legs are going to pack in!” he smiled.
“But I feel good and fitness wise I’m fine.
“I had that problem with my calf at Walsall and I thought I was going to be out for a while, maybe even the season.
“I had a scan and all I’d done was burst a vein.
“I spoke to the physios and they said if I could handle the pain then I could play – so of course I said yes.
“So it’s a plus to be back and able to play in these matches.”
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