KEVIN Phillips has been appointed as the new head coach of Hartlepool United.

The former Sunderland striker is watching from the stands as Pools take on Ebbsfleet in the National League today. His first game in charge will be next Saturday, at home to York City, rather than against Kidderminster on Tuesday.

Antony Sweeny and Lennie Lawrence will support Phillips as assistants.

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.”

Raj Singh stated: “I am delighted to have secured Kevin and would like to welcome him to 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.”