JOHN Hughes wants to make Hartlepool United an attractive proposition for potential transfer targets.
The January window closed on Thursday with Pools’ sole bit of business having been to release Paul Murray from his contract, the midfielder subsequently signing for League One rivals Oldham Athletic.
Hughes, though, does now have room to bring in one or two of his own players and will look to do so when the loan market reopens next week.
But it is the long-term appeal of the club with which the manager is equally concerned.
“I’ve been in clubs where I’ve built them from scratch – Falkirk especially,” said Hughes when pressed on his vision for Pools.
“It’s the same scenario here. Falkirk were in the first division, we had to scrap but we kept the club in the community and built it up.
“We had good training facilities at Stirling University, great facilities like we have at Durham now.
“People wanted to come and play for us. We might ask a player to come to Hartlepool who doesn’t want to come and thinks it’s too far.
“So we have to put good facilities on for them, look after them, train them well and then word of mouth goes – Hartlepool is different class.
“Word spreads – training is good, there’s good bunch of boys.
“You can go and double your money and not enjoy it, or you can come here and play good football. I want guys to come and play enjoyable football rather than look for money.’’
Hughes’ immediate focus is preserving the club’s League One status.
Whether or not he is successful in that mission, however, will not affect his core principles.
“In terms of where this club is going and what we are about, I know how to take it there,” he went on.
“Where we go as a club and the players we want to bring in is for the future, now it’s about sticking together and proving people wrong.”