New Hartlepool Utd boss wants to meet the fans

John Hughes. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes wants to launch a Hartlepool United fans’ forum, insisting “we’re all in this together”.

The Scot will this week take his idea to the club’s hierarchy in a bid to set up the meetings with supporters, which would give them the chance to ask direct questions of the first-team coach.

John Hughes at his press conference Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

John Hughes at his press conference Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

Hughes is keen to build a relationship with the people he calls the “lifeblood” of the club, as he told SportMail today: “One of the things on the agenda and I’ve spoken to Russ (Green, chief executive) about is a fans’ forum.

“Russ might say ‘you’re putting yourself up there to be shot down’.

“But I say ‘why not be transparent and open with supporters?’.

“I’m up there to answer any questions and this is a good time to do that.

“It builds a bond with the supporters and the community.

“They can come in, maybe have a right go at the manager and get their point of view across.

“I will take that on board and can give them answers.

“I can also explain to them, first hand, where I want to go with this club and what my vision is – how we’re going to get there.

“I might not want to do it on a Friday night when one or two have had a few beers!

“But we’re all in this together.

“A football club is absolutely nothing without its supporters – they are the lifeblood.

“I have to make sure we’re in there with them.”

Hughes’ philosophy on transparency will no doubt be welcomed by fans.

News that the club had cancelled their AGM scheduled for next month was not met kindly, the annual meeting normally the only occasion shareholders and reporters can speak directly to chairman Ken Hodcroft.

Hughes, though, is determined to build a bond with supporters and get across his ideas on how the game should be played.

“I want to build a relationship and an understanding with them,” he went on.

“That will take time, though.

“Just look at the success that Sir Alex Ferguson has had with Manchester United, but he needed time.

“Maybe we’ll have to educate the supporters.

“I know they love passion and commitment and I heard one or two last week shouting ‘don’t play there son’.

“But to play football sometimes you need to take a chance.

“We might have to shoot ourselves in the foot every now and again.

“As a coach you have to put your trust in your players.

“I want everyone at this club pulling in the same direction and the forum would help with that.”