Miserable start for Hartelpool United’s new boss

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JOHN Hughes said he was “embarrassed” by his managerial bow with Hartlepool United.

Pools were smashed 5-0 by Coventry on Saturday as the Scot endured a nightmare start to his reign at Victoria Park.

The result leaves the club nine points from safety in League One and without a win in 17 matches going into tomorrow night’s home fixture with Oldham Athletic.

Hughes admits he would like to bring in some new signings before Thursday’s loan deadline, but concedes that is unlikely to happen.

“We’ve got what we’ve got – there’s no scope to bring players in,” he said today.

“It would be good to get some in to help out, players the others can see and get a lift from it. But we’ve got to stick together.

“Saturday wasn’t good enough – I was bitterly disappointed and a little embarrassed. But I stand in the dug-out, I pick the team. I don’t want a honeymoon period.

“We are in a dogfight, there’s no point hiding it. We need to stand up to it.”

Hughes had his players in at their Maiden Castle training base yesterday morning, and the new boss says he will remain positive regardless of results.

“We were in training Sunday morning – I’m first in, big smile on my face because I’m not giving up on it,” he said.

Ryan Noble was first to threaten and he drew a double save from Joe Murphy, the visiting keeper first parrying the striker’s 20-yard blast before shinning clear when Noble returned on target with a low stab.

The Sunderland loanee then managed to escape centre-back Richard Wood but his left-foot swipe drew wide of Murphy’s goal.

A blistering start soon subsided and it was the visitors who finished the half the stronger of the sides.

David McGoldrick stung the palms of Scott Flinders with a vicious volley from the edge of the area on 34 minutes.

But the Sky Blues did break through six minutes after half-time, Baker seeing a 20-yard drive find its way into the back of the net via the base of Flinders’ post.

Within five minutes it was two when Andy D’Urso pointed to the spot after Ritchie Humphreys used his arm to block Gary McSheffrey’s goal-bound curler. McGoldrick stepping up to tuck home from 12 yards.

By the hour mark the result was out of sight as Carl Baker controlled and spun at the far post before firing through the grasp of Flinders.

Franck Moussa was then afforded the freedom of the penalty area before steering beyond the exposed Flinders, and sub Adam Barton got in on the act when he hammered home with his first touch after coming on.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Holden, Sweeney, Murray (Monkhouse 66), Humphreys (Walton 66), Poole (Wyke 77), Noble, Franks. Subs not used: Foden, Luscombe, Baldwin, Richards.

Coventry: Murphy, Christie (Clarke 88), Wood, Edjenguele, Adams, Baker, Moussa, Bailey (Barton 77), Jennings, McSheffrey, McGoldrick (O’Donovan 83). Subs not used: Dunn, Cameron, McDonald, Ball. Goals: Baker 51 & 59, McGoldrick 58 pen, Moussa 75, Barton 78.

Att: 4,404 Ref: Andy D’Urso (Essex).