Collins set for extended stay as Hartlepool United caretaker boss

Sam Collins on the sideline against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins on the sideline against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID
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SAM Collins is set for an extended run as Hartlepool United caretaker as the club considers its next managerial move.

The Sky Bet League Two side sacked manager Paul Murray and assistant Willie Donachie at the weekend following the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Blyth Spartans.

Murray had been in charge for just 45 days making him the shortest serving Pools manager.

Following discussions with the club’s hierarchy, player coach Collins has been placed in temporary charge and he led training at Maiden Castle, in Durham, yesterday.

He is expected to be in charge for Saturday’s trip to promotion chasing Burton Albion while the club carries out its usual selection process of appointing a new manager.

Collins was in charge for almost three weeks following Colin Cooper’s resignation in October and while the club are not expected to rush into a decision the need for a quick decision is clear.

Ahead of a busy festive period, Pools are six points adrift at the bottom of the Football League having lost six out of their last seven in the league.

Veteran defender Collins is among the early favourites for the job full-time as well as Craig Hignett and Brian Laws and Collins’ spell in temporary charge offers him a second chance at getting the job.

In October Collins won one league game away at Exeter City but lost to Luton Town and Accrington Stanley in the league and Sheffield United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

l HARTLEPOOL United’s reserve team were back in action today looking to take revenge away at Scunthorpe United.

The Iron beat a youthful Pools second-string 8-0 last Wednesday night in the Final Third Development League and the two sides were due to meet again this afternoon (KO 2pm).

This time round it is in the Final Third Development League Cup.

So far in the group stage of the competition Pools have beaten Gateshead at home but lost away to Middlesbrough.