Collins looking forward to playing again for Hartlepool United

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

The 37-year-old was drafted in as caretaker manager for four matches following Colin Cooper’s resignation and maintained he wouldn’t pick himself while in charge.

But the appointment of Murray as manager looks set to see Collins return to the Pools starting line-up.

Second bottom Pools have been shipping sloppy goals in recent matches, the 3-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley, in particular, had left Collins fuming.

Not playing has frustrated Collins, who has kept himself in good shape.

Collins added: “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 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 afternoon.

The 38-year-old Cumbrian played over 100 matches for Pools between 2010 and 2013 and now returns in the dugout.

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

Player coach Collins, who had impressed during his spell as caretaker boss, will return to his duties with the reserve team as well as playing for the first team.

“It is brilliant and I am delighted with the appointments,” said Collins ahead of today’s trip to Cambridge United in Sky Bet League Two.

“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, like myself.

“I’m sure we will be working well together and giving the players 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 who was talking to Pools Player.