John Hughes: Hartlepool squad good enough to avoid relegation

John Hughes

New boss John Hughes has said he is at Hartlepool United "for the long term" and believes the squad are good enough to avoid relegation from League One.

takes over a Pools side nine points adrift at the foot of the table.

"I'm excited by the challenge in front of me. It might frighten some people off," Hughes told BBC Tees.

"The only way is up. I'm 100% convinced the dressing room is good enough."

He added: "We need to get galvanised, to get spirited, we're going to have to be organised and we're going to have to be a real hard team to beat.

"I want to bring a culture to this club that you can be proud of, and we've got a big part to play in making the people of this community happy."

The 48-year-old's record in Scotland is impressive, leading Falkirk to the 2009 Scottish Cup final and into the Scottish Premier Division as well as taking Hibernian, where he was a popular former player and captain, into Europe as manager.

Other than half a season as a player at Swansea in 1989-90, Hartlepool are Hughes's first club outside the Scottish leagues.

"I've always wanted a go in England," he said. "There's a lot of good Scots managers doing well, and if I can get half the success of some of these guys, then Hartlepool will be going in the right direction.

"I'm not here for the short term, I'm not going back to Scotland and if I'm down here for 20 years and I've hopefully been a success, then hopefully that will be with Hartlepool.

"I'm going to do what I have to do. If I have to beg, borrow or steal, then I'll do it to be a success for Hartlepool.

"I feel we go together, but talk is cheap. I have to get in the dressing room now and inspire them and get results, so I'm excited."

BBC Tees will broadcast the full interview with John Hughes on their BBC Tees Sport programme on Wednesday, 14 November, available for seven days on the iPlayer.