STEVE Tully did not hesitate to become Poole Town manager sooner rather than later, with the former Exeter City player appointed with nine games to go in the Southern League Premier South season.

Dolphins are currently 13th in the league table, four points above Tiverton Town in the final relegation spot after a run of 12 defeats in 13 games.

They host AFC Totton tomorrow afternoon (3pm) as Tully looks for a first win of his tenure.

Poole had initially planned for James Ellis to remain as interim head coach until the end of the campaign, with a permanent appointment coming in at the start of pre-season.

However, as Poole’s woeful form continued, the decision was made to accelerate the process and bring Tully in to arrest Dolphins’ slide down the league table.

The former Truro City player-manager arrives at BlackGold Stadium with experience of end-of-season firefighting, having started his managerial career by avoiding the drop with Truro before going onto win promotion the following season.

And Tully had no qualms about stepping into the role sooner than expected.

He told the Daily Echo: “I was eager to come in now because you get to know the players and what's it all about, what's needed and where I want to go next year.

“It's really clear that when I played here as a player, when I came and managed a team against Poole, it's a tough place to come.

“We've sort of gone away from that.

“And don't get me wrong, the players are feeling sorry for themselves because of everything that's happened.

“But they'll move on.

“They'll get better because we'll make sure they get better.

“Burbs (Luke Burbidge, assistant manager) and I will make sure that we improve them.

“And look, we know that we've got to go and win three games between now and the end of the season.

“So we've got to make sure we do it.

“The quicker we do it, the easier it will be.

“But we've got to knuckle down, work hard and each game will be tough, but we've got to make sure we're ready.”

Tully also feels that he has a strong grasp of both the situation and the playing squad.

He continued: “I knew what I was walking into. I knew most of the players, I know the squad.

“I know what we need to improve on - it's pretty simple.

“We've got to stop the goals going in one end and we've got to start taking chances at the other end.

“Very simple football.

“We've got to make sure that we do it.

"The quicker we do it, the better it will be.

“Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, we've got to make sure we're fully prepared in every game.”