RUSS Green, the chief executive at Hartlepool United, can see a big change in outlook around Victoria Park.

Following the midweek appointment of John Hughes as manager, Pools take on Coventry City today and Oldham on Tuesday.

Hughes is no miracle worker, but his healing hands are needed to lift the club from a deep sleep.

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One win this season tells it's own story.

But the Scot has already made an impression around the place.

"He has blown everyone away,'' reflected Green. "After his first morning at the club everyone was impressed and everyone in the offices wanted to play.

"His enthusiasm and belief is infectious. He has spoke to everyone, asked about their jobs, what they do, how they affect the club. He wants to be part of it all.

"Saturday is about bringing the excitement back. We have been feeling sorry for ourselves and we have come away from games which we have lost which we shouldn't have come away feeling sorry.

"That's gone now, it's in the past. What is pleasing is that John has already found out about the club, the town and the supporters and the people and the spirit here. Now we pull the shutters down and have a siege mentality - it's us against the world and bring it on.

"He comes in with no pre-conceived ideas and everyone can have their input and say - staff and players - and he will listen but only one man has a say and that's him.''

Hughes was always on Pools' shortlist, but was somewhat of a surprising appointment on Tuesday evening.

Bigger and higher profile names were interested - Sven-Goran Eriksson among them.

"Sven did apply actually, but what would we have got?'' asked Green.

"A circus? It's the usual process we have here, we invite applicants, we look at CVs, we interview. We know it's IOR and the way they do things and it does take time, it's frustrating for fans.

"But is a crucial appointment and it's a crucial one this time given the situation we are in. We have had to evaluate everything and wonder what happens if we do go down, rebuilding and everything.''

Pools are nine points short of the safety zone and their next two opponents are those within their sights to catch up following a pitiful opening to the season.

And Green admits while the drop is a huge concern, the appointment of Hughes is part of a long-term revamp.

"Every club in League One is scared for relegation because of the lack of funding from the central pot in the Football League that filters down,'' he admitted. "But we have done it been relegated and come straight back before and we can do it again.

"If you go into games with the right mentality there is a hope. We don't want to be swapping and changing. If we have a guy now who saves us, fantastic. But we want him to do the right job, to get the confidence back, get the belief back and get the mentality right.

"We all know it's been lacking and he will instil that in the players.''

He added: "We had a lot of seriously good contenders and it was hard to make a shortlist.

"John has been on our radar for a while. We have tracked him for while. The process we go through sees us speak to a lot of people, influential people north of the border as well who had nothing but praise for him.

"He wanted a chance in England.

"There's similarities with him and Neale Cooper, but there's other things that don't exist in Neale that exist in John.

"Passion and charisma are in both and now we look for the organisational skills to bring the confidence back.

"Neale was desperate for a result that never came, it can come straight away now with two home games.

"It's the type of division in which teams have had a good start and are now starting to falter. Can it be the other way around for us.

"I've a lot of friends in football, chairmen, chief execs and the like and the word I've been getting back is how are Hartlepool down there at the bottom? But there's only a certain length of time that words like that can be tolerated.''