IT’S the standard mantra of the new manager that they are starting with a blank sheet of paper.

But that is literally the case for Dean Windass.

“I don’t know any of the players, I’ve never seen them play,” the former Bantams legend concedes, as he prepares to take up his first managerial role.

Windass has been appointed the gaffer at newly-formed East Hull, who currently sit at the foot of the Northern Counties East League Division One.

Played nine, lost nine and a goal difference of minus 40 – he is starting at the bottom.

Windass, whose 87 goals in two spells at Valley Parade puts him fourth in the club’s all-time scoring list, is up for another challenge to “get him out the house”.

The 50-year-old likes to keep himself active to combat the mental health issues that led to him attempting suicide in 2012.

His four-year stint as Hull City ambassador finished when his contract was not renewed at the end of last season.

He is still busy with the after-dinner speaking and recently accepted another ambassadorial position for the Children’s Air Ambulance charity.

But football is his first love, even if it means getting his hands dirty at the bottom of the pyramid.

Windass said: “It just gives me something to get my teeth into and a focus.

“I know the owner Jamie Waltham, who used to have North Ferriby, and he felt they needed a fresh face.

“Jamie asked if I could come in and basically, ‘can you keep us up?’ That’s the objective.

“They are only six points off, even though the results have been bad. They’ve been done by nine and seven.

“I can’t comment on the players because I don’t know. Andy Watts, who has been manager, will be my assistant and he'll do the training sessions. I’ll stand and observe and see what we’ve got.

“It’s going to be a tough ask because there are teams in that league who pay players. Sometimes you can’t compete with that.

“I’ll try to organise it but, as I say, I don’t know what the players are like.”

Windass has been keen to get into coaching for years since a brief stint working with his former City boss Colin Todd at Darlington in 2009. He has unsuccessfully tried for numerous jobs since, including a return to the Bantams.

“I loved it with Toddy. Unfortunately again, we had the lowest budget in the league.

“Colin decided to walk away and Darlington went down a different avenue in Steve Staunton. That’s just the way it is.

“I thought I nearly got the Bradford City job when they gave it to Peter Taylor. I went for the interview and there was me, Peter and Martin Allen in the running.

“Julian (Rhodes) and Mark (Lawn) were brilliant and said my interview was good.

“It’s always something that’s intrigued me. I took my coaching qualifications when I played and I’ve applied for a lot of jobs in League Two."

Windass got the buzz back when he took his old Sunday league team Willerby Wanderers for pre-season training. He has been itching to get back involved somewhere, anywhere.

“You’ve got to get on the training ground,” he added. “I’ve been brought up that way.

“No disrespect, but I’m not an office person.

“I’ve had a bad time and found it hard but I still go to the gym every day – not that I’m planning to play.

“My focus is on trying to develop young players, although I’ve already had a few phone calls from some good ones who’ve said they are happy to come and play.

“But I’m not going to wield the axe on kids who just want to play football on a Saturday.”

Windass gets his driving licence back in December at the end of his second ban. Getting back into football, even at such a low level, is another step in the right direction.

"I'm getting there," he said. "I’m obviously busy with the speaking and being an ambassador for the air ambulance, which is a fantastic charity.

"I’m not going into this thinking that Dean Windass, the ex-footballer, is going to work wonders. I’m not like that.

“I’ll be true to myself. If I can’t turn it around, I’ll walk away and give somebody else a chance.”