Sam Collins urges more of the same from Pools – as he keeps plans secret from York

Sam Collins, Hartlepool United's assistant manager
Sam Collins, Hartlepool United's assistant manager
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Sam Collins will give no clues about Hartlepool United’s formation for tomorrow’s League One trip to York City

But there is one thing he is making no bones about – Pools chasing a third win on the spin.

The assistant boss looks set to take charge of Pools in the League Two match at Bootham Crescent, with manager Ronnie Moore in Spain with his daughter, Charlotte, after she was taken ill on holiday.

Collins sent out Pools in a positive 4-3-3 formation in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win, which followed a 2-0 League Two victory over Morecambe, when they used the same system.

York favour a 3-5-2, a set-up Pools seemed certain to use at the start of the season, until Moore and Collins went with a three-pronged attack of Billy Paynter, Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick against Morecambe.

After the cup success, Collins intimated that the Pools management team had faith in the 4-3-3, but he yesterday insisted that it’s about players and not systems.

“Let’s keep them [York] guessing, I’m giving nothing away,” he smiled.

“If we keep playing the way we are, it doesn’t matter who we play against or what formation we come up against.

“It’s about what we do.

“If we perform how we are capable of performing and play like we did in the majority of the Morecambe and Fleetwood games, we’ll be fine.

“Apart from two or three saves Adam [Bartlett] made late on, I thought we dealt with a good League One side like Fleetwood very well.

“If we can handle that then going the other way, we are always going to be a threat.

“We are always going to create something with the players we’ve got. Now what we’ve got in the building is lads who can score goals – that always gives you a chance.”

Success has been built at the back in the shape of two clean sheets and Collins has highlighted not only the defensive solidity but the outlook of the players. “The most pleasing thing has been the attitude of the players and how hard they are working for each other,” he said.

“On top of that, we have got two clean sheets and two wins.

“The challenge now is to keep that going.

“The more times you do that the better chances you have.

“We only had four away wins last season and that’s something we need to improve on.

“If we want to have a lot better season than we did last time there are a lot of areas we need to improve.

“We are well aware of that and that is what we are intending to do.”