Ex-Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips reacts after landing Hartlepool United job
Hartlepool United have appointed former Sunderland great Kevin Phillips as their new head coach.
The former South Shields boss replaces John Askey in the Victoria Park hotseat, with Pools looking to steer themselves away from relegation danger. He has been handed the title of head coach and will be accompanied by full-time assistant roles in the highly experienced ex-Middlesbrough and Charlton manager Lennie Lawrence and current coach Antony Sweeney
Phillips, who is with the Pools squad this weekend, will formally take charge of team from the dugout following Tuesday’s fixture against Kidderminster Harriers.
Reacting to the news, Phillips said: “I’m delighted to join Hartlepool United and I can’t thank the chairman enough for the opportunity to take charge of this fantastic club. I’m familiar with the North East having played and managed up here, so I know the area and the passion of the people from up here.
“I’m excited about the challenge and can’t wait to get stuck in. We know what we need to do to get up that league table, we need results, and I want to provide some fresh ideas for us to achieve that. The fans will be massive to us and I can’t wait to meet them at the Suit Direct Stadium.”
Pools owner Raj Singh added: “I am delighted to have secured Kevin and would like to welcome him to the club. I wish him the best of luck in the role. Kevin comes with an incredible pedigree having played at the highest level of the game but also having transitioned into coaching and managerial roles with great success.
“His drive to be successful and hands on approach was evident in the process. Additionally, the combination and balance of skill sets between Kevin, Tony and Lennie was a key factor in the decision, with a focus to immediately impact a crucial block of games over the coming weeks and then push on to the end of the season.
“An extensive process has been conducted to profile and assess multiple candidates. It has taken longer than I’d have hoped largely due to the uncertainty that currently surrounds the club, but I am very pleased to have finally secured Kevin with his credentials.”
Last season, Phillips led South Shields to the Northern Premier League title with a win ratio during his time in charge of 58%.