Football - Hughes planning summer changes

John Hughes will mould the first-team squad at Hartlepool more in his own style during the summer.

PA Sport

The Pools' boss inherited the current crop of players at Victoria Park when he replaced Neale Cooper in November and has been unable to bring in any new players due to help in the club's fight to avoid relegation.

"One or two might want to move on at the end of the season," Hughes told Press Association Sport. "That's normal and I'll be able to put more of my own stamp on things.

"We have five players who are 35 and over in the squad and three of them are in the team. They've all got a part to play as it's important to have experienced players at a club.

"We've had a settled team for a few weeks now, but everybody has had an opportunity to show they want that shirt.

"The likes of (Andy) Monkhouse, (Paul) Murray and (James) Poole are training very hard and that allows you to create a no-one's-safe environment among the squad.

"If we can get all the players fighting hard for a place in the side every week, then that's healthy."

Hartlepool, 12 points from safety at the foot of the table, take on fellow strugglers Portsmouth on Saturday chasing only their second league win in 12 since Hughes took charge.

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