Former Pools coach Pop Robson impressed by old club

Nolberto Solano plays the ball forward past Jack Colback during Ritchie Humphreys testimonial game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

Nolberto Solano plays the ball forward past Jack Colback during Ritchie Humphreys testimonial game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

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FORMER promotion man Bryan “Pop” Robson hopes Hartlepool United’s performance against Sunderland “sets them up nicely” for a good start to the season.

Robson was a huge influence in only the second Pools promotion in their history when they went up from the Fourth Division in 1991.

The former Sunderland, Newcastle and West Ham striker was at Pools between 1988-91 as an assistant to Bob Moncur, Cyril Knowles and caretaker boss Alan Murray.

Last night, the 65-year-old was back at Victoria Park in his capacity as Sunderland’s chief scout.

And even though Steve Bruce’s side triumphed 3-1 in the Ritchie Humphreys testimonial match, thanks to goals by Asamoah Gyan, Jack Colback and Seb Larsson, he saw enough promise from Pools to suggest they could do well in League One.

“I think they’ll do well,” Pop told SportMail.

“They got off to a good start last night and they got a goal ahead.

“They played well and I believe they’ll have a good season.

“It was a good game but they played some nice stuff and it sets them up nicely for Saturday.

“Hartlepool have a difficult start at MK Dons like we have a difficult start at Liverpool the week after, but hopefully we’ll both get good results.”

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Mail ...