John Hughes keen to manage expectation with Pools

John Hughes on the sidelines during the game against Brentford. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes on the sidelines during the game against Brentford. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes accepts that a swift return to League One with Hartlepool United will be no easy task.

Given that the club’s previous relegation in 2006 was followed by promotion the following season, many observers could well expect the Victoria Park club to again bounce back at the first attempt.

Hughes, however, is guarded against such expectation and says a lot of factors have to first be sorted before any talk of hopes for next season is entertained.

“You have to look at expectations and keep things right, League Two will be a hard division to get out of,” he told SportMail.

“It is no different to Scotland – there will be well-organised teams, good footballers and we know what we will be up against.

“But we’ve a lot of hard work to do before then and bits and pieces will be put in place to give it our best shot.

“I’m looking forward to pre-season already and fingers crossed we can get the work done and give the supporters the winning team which they deserve.”

And Hughes admits that, over the summer months, he will miss the day-to-day workings of football management.

“When I’m not around the game in the summer I miss it,” he said.

“I’m grateful and thankful to my missus and the family as they understand, but I don’t think she’s ever watched a game of football – she’s more concerned with her family.

“She lets me get on with watching football and taking in games every night of the week.

“I’m sure after a week or so she will be ready for me to get back out on the football pitch.”

Meanwhile, Pools’ out-of-contract players are hoping to be informed of their fate before the Bank Holiday weekend.

Many are growing frustrated that the club’s retained list has not yet been announced with several either on holiday already or planning close-season breaks.