Hartlepool United boss salutes Collins impact

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore.
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore.
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RONNIE Moore has praised the impact assistant Sam Collins has had since he took over as Hartlepool United boss.

The experienced former Tranmere Rovers, Oldham Athletic and Rotherham United manager took charge in mid-December after Paul Murray was axed following the humiliating Blyth Spartans FA Cup defeat.

Collins, who has made 268 Pools appearances, was named as his assistant and the pair have since struck up a “fantastic” partnership according to Moore.

The pair share training duties with Moore more than happy for 37-year-old Collins to lead sessions.

Defender Collins has turned out nine times for the first team this season but was out with a knee injury when Moore arrived and he has been focusing on his duties as assistant boss since.

Moore said: “Sam has been fantastic since I came in.

“He has been caretaker boss twice, was a hell of a player who knows the game inside out and we share a lot of ideas and spend a lot of time together.

“He is a good coach and we share training - he does a bit of it, I do a bit of it on the training ground.

“I think it’s a nice little partnership that we have going.”

Moore and Collins have certainly been busy over the past few weeks, taking in matches up and down the country as they look to add new players to the squad.

Former Hull City, Port Vale and Huddersfield Town defender Collins - who has made 585 career appearances - was named caretaker following Colin Cooper’s resignation and again after Murray was axed.

He enjoyed his time in charge and spoke passionately about becoming a manager one day.

For now he is happy learning his new trade under the guidance of Moore, who has more than 900 games as a manager under his belt.

Collins said previously: “He’s had 900 games and if I can’t learn from someone like him then there is something wrong.

“That’s what I intend to do, I’m looking forward to learning from him and working with him.”

Moore was speaking at Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace ground.

Pools had moved training there on Thursday and Friday due to the frozen pitches at their usual training base at Maiden Castle, in Durham.

Moore was keen to get his players, who had trained indoors earlier in the week, out on the grass ahead of today’s Sky Bet League Two match at Tranmere Rovers, with Pools desperate for a win to close the gap to safety.

Rovers started the day third bottom, nine points clear of Moore’s men.

Moore added: “We are always looking at the team and formation – in our position you think you have the formula and then they go and show they haven’t.

“I will look and maybe make the odd changes.”