John Hughes committed to Hartlepool despite relegation

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Hughes 'disappointed' for Pools fans

First-team coach John Hughes has reiterated his commitment to Hartlepool United despite their relegation from League One on Tuesday.

Pools' fate was sealed after Oldham beat Yeovil, leaving an eight-point deficit with six points to play for.

"Get relegated and you walk away? That's not in my DNA," the former Hibernian manager told BBC Look North.

"I want to put Hartlepool where it belongs and that's certainly in League One, possibly higher."

The last time Pools played in the bottom tier of the Football League was in 2007, when Danny Wilson led the club to automatic promotion as runners-up.

However, Hughes expects a tough battle to return at the first attempt, and a busy summer of reshaping to create a squad fit for the task.

"No guarantee, but if we bring the right players to the club and create a winning culture that's all we can do," he continued.

"It amazes me - I found Pools a great facility, the fans are passionate and it's up to me to attract players.

"There's a lot of hard work for me to do with [chief executive] Russ Green to try to bring players to the club who want to play for the jersey and if you cut them open, they bleed Hartlepool."

Despite leading Pools on a seven-match unbeaten run that earned him the manager of the month award for February, the Scot was unable to overturn the deficit he inherited when replacing Neale Cooper in November.

Hughes has still proved a popular figure with supporters, and he is keen to retain that backing for the remainder of the campaign and beyond.

"It's bitterly disappointing getting relegated," he added. "I really feel for the supporters, who have played their part in sticking with the team, and it's over the course of the season.

"You won't get me giving a knee-jerk reaction. I think we have to stay united and together and do our best for Hartlepool United in the future."

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