Collins relishes playing return under new Pools bos#

Sam Collins (left) joins up with new Hartlepool manager  Paul Murray (centre) and assistant Willlie Donachie

Sam Collins (left) joins up with new Hartlepool manager Paul Murray (centre) and assistant Willlie Donachie

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SAM Collins has welcomed new Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray and admits he is looking forward to pulling his boots back on again.

The 37-year-old player-coach was drafted in as caretaker manager for four matches following former boss Colin Cooper’s resignation and maintained that he would not pick himself while in charge.

But the appointment of Murray looks set to see Collins return to the Pools starting line-up, with the club facing a fight for survival in League Two.

Collins said: “I am still fit, still look after myself and have always done that.

“I love playing and coaching and have enjoyed the past few weeks although I wish the last two results could have been better.

“If it gets to it and I am needed to play then I will do that, it is not a problem.”

Murray, who is being assisted by experienced ex-Newcastle reserve-team coach Willie Donachie, became the club’s 41st permanent manager and the 11th appointed by owners IOR when he was announced as boss on Thursday.

The pair have been welcomed by Collins, who said he is looking forward to working with the pair.

“I am delighted with the appointments,” said Collins.

“I have known Paul for a few years now and we have played together in the same team.

“I didn’t know Willie previously, but I obviously knew of his experience and the clubs he has been at.

“I used to love playing with Paul, he was my type of player - getting stuck in and he did really well when he was here before.

“He is highly thought of at the club and it is great that he is back.

“He is one of the old breed life myself.

“I’m sure we will be working well together and giving the plays the same messages, which is important.”

Collins is also looking forward to picking the brains of former Manchester City and Scotland defender Donachie, who has a wealth of coaching experience.

He added: “There is someone to lean on in Willie if you need advice and there is nothing wrong in asking questions.

“Me and Paul have experience as players and coaches and have done the badges, but Willie has a lot of experience and he will be here every day and it can only be good for the players.

“I like to learn from different people as everyone has their own ways and ideas.

“He has had a long time in coaching and as a player, manager or coach you are always trying to learn things,” added Collins.