Dave Jones has given Hartlepool United’s players a clean slate.
But he says he will not hesitate to shake things up if he thinks they are not pulling their weight.
Money doesn’t always bring success. It is about creating a team, not individuals
Jones started work on the training pitch yesterday morning with coaches Alex Armstrong and Kevin Cooper, but will not take control of team duties this afternoon. Sam Collins will remain in the dugout for the League Two encounter with visitors Stevenage.
And Jones admits that no matter what has gone before his appointment, he will allow every player in the Pools squad an opportunity to prove their worth.
But he has issued a word of warning – any player who plans on cruising will be shown the door, given that so much is at stake over the next few months.
“Every player will get a clean sheet,” said Jones.
“There are only two ways of football – you are either playing well to get in the team, or playing well for a big move.
“Everyone will have an opportunity when I step onto the training pitch.
“If the players can’t do it, we ain’t got time to mess around. They will go and I will find players who can.”
Having got their man, the attention turns to potential transfer activity for Pools.
Jones says it may take him a little time to assess his options, although he doesn’t necessarily think signings will be best for the club moving forward.
“Let me see the team and then I will have an idea,” he said.
“We need to watch a lot of videos and do our homework. I will be guided by the coaches who are already here.
“I don’t want to sign anyone for the sake of it.
“We might have to move players on before they come in. That is the reality of being at a football club. And there is nothing wrong with that.
“It doesn’t matter what football club you are at, you have boundaries.
“Money doesn’t always bring success. It is about creating a team not relying on individuals.”
Legacy is a word not something often spoken about by manager, certainly not those who have walked through the doors at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium lately.
But that is exactly the kind of terms 60-year-old former Stockport, Cardiff, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday boss Jones is speaking in.
He wants to leave a lasting mark, not just on the club and the town, but the people of Hartlepool, too.
“The day I leave this football club I want people to say I left a fantastic legacy,” said Jones.
“Just like I did at Wolves, or Southampton or Stockport.
“I want people to say I started something.
“We built something at Southampton, we did at Cardiff.
“I love being part of a project.
“I enjoy being a part of things on and off the field.”
He accepts that Pools may not be totally plain sailing, despite his considerable experience much further up the Football League food chain.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are – you always make mistakes and learn from it,” he added.