Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper hails Paul Murray as a mirror image of himself as a player

Paul Murray reminds his boss of a mini Cooper.
Paul Murray reminds his boss of a mini Cooper.

NEALE Cooper wouldn’t be the first manager to laud the merits of Paul Murray – but the Pools boss admits he sees something of himself in the midfield terrier.

The Scot forged a fearsome reputation during his time at Aberdeen, earning the nickname “Godzilla” as a result of his ferocious tackling.

Cooper operated in much the same domain as Murray, a holding midfield player with the remit to disrupt the opposition.

And the new gaffer has been thrilled with the contribution of his anchorman during the current four-match unbeaten run.

“Paul Murray has been excellent for me,” Cooper told SportMail today.

“He’s coming up to 36 now but he’s still such a fit boy.

“He’s just sits in that role and breaks it up perfectly.

“He protects the two centre-backs very well.

“It’s similar to a role I used to play sometimes at Aberdeen, just sitting in as a midfield player.

“It’s sometimes a bit of an ugly role but it’s an important one and one your team-mates appreciate especially.”

Read more about Cooper’s thoughts, the latest on the England saga and Sunderland’s FA Cup win over Middlesbrough, in today’s Mail.