Jeff Stelling is hoping to ‘get one over’ on pal Gary Neville after his beloved Pools were paired with Salford City in the FA Cup.
Pools will travel to Salford – who are part-owned by ex-Manchester United stars Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs – in the second round of the competition.
After the game, I’d be very happy to buy him a drink to drown his sorrowsJeff Stelling
Jeff and Gary have worked together on Sky Sports’ football coverage over recent years, and the Poolie has described the England assistant coach as ‘as good a bloke as you could meet’.
However, he hopes to claim the Sky bragging rights over his colleague when the sides meet on December 5.
He told the Mail: “I’d like to get one over on Gary!
“The likes of (fellow pundit) Jamie Carragher at Sky will all be rooting for Hartlepool as well.
He tweeted that it was Neville against Stelling, which was quite amusing.
“Don’t get me wrong, though, Gary is as good a bloke as you could meet.
“He’s down to earth, with no airs and graces, and just tells it how it is.
“He’s a football addict and absolutely loves the game at all levels.
“I’ve worked with Gary in all sorts of places on Champions League nights, including the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, the Nou Camp in Barcelona and the Bernabeu in Madrid.
“I never thought we would be together at Salford City against Hartlepool in the FA Cup!
“After the game, I’d be very happy to buy him a drink to drown his sorrows.”
Salford were featured in a BBC documentary recently as the club’s progress since the purchase of the club by Manchester United’s ‘Class of 92’ was tracked.
The seventh tier side beat League Two outfit Notts County 2-0 at Moor Lane in round one, but Stelling is hopeful Pools will get the better of them.
He added: “It’s a fantastic draw. As Pools manager Ronnie Moore has said, though, let’s not get carried away, because the class of 92 won’t be playing for them!
“They got a very good win in the last round, and were full value for it.
“They were the better team by a mile, but hopefully history won’t repeat itself.
“Salford are a Level 7 club with part-time players, but you have to give them due respect.
“What happened last year, when we lost to Blyth Spartans, should make us even more on our guard this time around, and it’s important we get off to a good start.”