John Hughes “embarrassed” by Pools debut

John Hughes on the sidelines as he takes charge of his first game for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes on the sidelines as he takes charge of his first game for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes says he was “embarrassed” by his managerial bow with Hartlepool United.

Pools were smashed 5-0 by Coventry City on Saturday as the Scot endured a nightmare start to his reign at Victoria Park.

The result leaves the club nine points from safety and without a win in 17 matches going into tomorrow night’s home fixture with Oldham Athletic.

Hughes admits he would like to bring in some new signings before Thursday’s loan deadline, but concedes that is unlikely to happen.

“We’ve got what we’ve got – there’s no scope to bring players in,” he told SportMail today.

“It would be good to get some in to help out, players the others can see and get a lift from it.

“But we’ve got to stick together.

“Saturday wasn’t good enough – I was bitterly disappointed and a little embarrassed.

“But I stand in the dug out, I pick the team, I don’t want a honeymoon period.

“I’m man enough to stand up to it and I’m not going to hide from any kind of pressure or negativity that comes my way – bring it on.

“We are in a dogfight, there’s no point hiding it – we need to stand up to it and react to it.”

Goalless after 45 minutes against the Sky Blues, Pools were 3-0 down by the hour mark as the team once again collapsed.

By full-time they had shipped five goals for the fourth time this season.

And Hughes admits it was an eye-opening afternoon.

“In terms of what I’ve been told Saturday was the same old story and there’s concerns over it,” he went on.

“But we have to stick together and all play a part and I’ve said that in the dressing room.

“I’ve been in football and confidence is the key - bottle that and you become a multi-millionaire.

“The position we are in and results going against us, we are lacking confidence.”

Hughes had his players in at Maiden Castle yesterday morning, and the new boss says he will remain positive regardless of results.

“We were in training Sunday morning – I’m first in, big smile on my face because I’m not giving up on it,” he said.

“If that spirit inspires others then we will do it until the end of the season.

“The boys want to work hard and we’ve been doing double sessions.

“We will get it right and we will use this game to help us.

“I hope over the coming months we are sitting here and saying that all those things I’ve talked about are coming right on the pitch.

“Everyone in the town and connected with Hartlepool will see those changes which can give us the confidence to get out of this situation.”