Hughes to make Hartlepool contract decisions

Hartlepool manager John Hughes has begun the process of deciding which player will be offered contracts for next season, reports BBC Sport.

Pools were relegated from League One this season after a disappointing campaign at Victoria Park. As a result of that poor start Neale Cooper left the club in October 2012, and was replaced by former Falkirk and Hibernian manager John Hughes.

Unfortunately the damage had already been done and the Monkey Hangers never looked like getting out of the League One relegation zone. But an encouraging finish saw them go four games unbeaten, culminating in a 2-2 draw at Crawley Town.

Hughes told BBC Tees the performance had impressed him:

“I’m looking at character, the culture of the club, for a winning mindset, and I saw that” he said. “Given there is so much uncertainty about the future you can only commend their attitude.

“The fact is [former manager] Neale Cooper left a lot of good players here. Unfortunately the confidence wasn’t there, so I tried to get into them mentally and forge a togetherness and spirit, and add a little bit of organisation.”

Today the manager will begin the task of determining which players will be offered new deals – and who will be shown the door.

One of those out of contract players, Andy Monkhouse, staked his claim for an extension with both goals during Saturday’s season finale at Crawley Town.

Along with Monkhouse, teammates Neil Austin, Sam Collins, Evan Horwood, Ritchie Humphreys, James Poole and Nathan Luscombe will this week discover their fate for next season.

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