Bring on Derby County roars Hartlepool United assistant boss Sam Collins

Sam Collins
Sam Collins

Sam Collins knows what it takes for Hartlepool United to pull off an FA Cup giant-killing.

The assistant boss was in the Pools side who dumped Premier League Stoke City out in the third round in 2009.

When you put teams under pressure mistakes can happen

Sam Collins

Now he’s Ronnie Moore’s right-hand man ahead of Saturday’s big tie against Derby County at Victoria Park.

While Pools were a League One side when they defeated Stoke 2-0, Collins says there is still a chance of upsetting Sky Bet Championship favourites Derby if they repeat the class of 2009’s no-fear approach.

“I think in that side we had a lot of mentally tough characters, lads who are not scared of anyone,” Collins told SportMail.

“What we did was we went out and had a right go and that’s what we need to do on Saturday.

“Stoke were a Premier League club but we played with no fear.

“We put them under pressure and when you put teams under pressure mistakes can happen.”

Matty Robson’s free-kick was headed in at close range by Michael Nelson for the opener as Pools out-Stoked Tony Pulis’s physically-powerful side.

But the match-clincher was a beauty, as David Foley’s stunning 30-yarder scorched past his fellow South Tynesider, Steve Simonsen, in the away goal.

And Collins feels with a big effort and a little good fortune Pools can repeat that afternoon.

“If we get at Derby and have a good day and they have an off day, who knows?” he said.

“We may need things to go our way – a bit of luck, a bit of magic.

“It might be a stage for a Rhys Oates to go and so something like Foles did that day against Stoke, he’s capable of it.”

Collins recalls the day vividly but says all his focus is on this Saturday.

And all he asks is 100 per cent from the boys in blue.

“To be honest I think I can remember all my games for Pools, but when you beat a Premier League club 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup it sticks in your mind,” he said.

“I want the lads to go and enjoy it but the big thing is they have to give it everything.

“Ronnie and me just want the lads to have a go.

“If they do that then the fans will be 100 per cent behind them.

“Our supporters will accept a misplaced pass or two if the players are giving their all.

“What they won’t accept is players not working hard and the same goes for me and the gaffer.”

Hopes of Pools getting some match-action yesterday were ruined by the weather with the scheduled Durham Challenge Cup tie between Pools and Gateshead washed out at Billingham Town.