Hartlepool United to play fantastic, free-flowing attacking football

Scott Fenwick in action for Hartlepool United against Cambridge United. Picture by FRANK REID
Scott Fenwick in action for Hartlepool United against Cambridge United. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Harrison says Hartlepool United will play with no fear under his direction.

The new Pools boss is accustomed to winning – and winning in style.

My players will give everything and there’s a certain style of football I want to play

CRAIG HARRISON

His The New Saints team dominated the Welsh Premier League this season, winning by 27 points and scoring more than a century of goals.

The 39-year-old is not naive to think he will run riot with Pools in a highly-competitive National League – but insists his same attacking principles will be carried over to the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

“I’d like to think we’ll play fantastic, free-flowing attacking football,” he said.

“That’s what I want. I believe in it and all my teams have played that way.”

Harrison acknowledges that Pools and their long-suffering supporters are on a low after the club’s first relegation from the Football League.

But he hopes the faithful will rally behind Pools and will come to the Vic and enjoy the football he wants the team to play.

“I hope we can put that huge disappointment to one side, draw a line under it, move on and get behind the players,” said Harrison, who says a positive, ambitious approach is needed by players and fans.

“I don’t want players who are scared before they come onto the pitch.

“They can’t be scared, they need to be relaxed.

“We need the fans 100 per cent behind us.

“My players will give everything and there’s a certain style of football I want to play, but there is no place for fear.”

Harrison is currently looking to strengthen his squad while having talks with his staff and players.

There are three players currently out of contract – Carl Magnay, Rhys Oates and Brad Walker, who have all been offered new terms.

Harrison is keen to have his squad for the National League promotion assault in place in time for the start of pre-season training at the end of this month – or as close to it as he can.

SportMail reported this week that the former Middlesbrough defender would be looking to “build relationships” with his North-East neighbours.

Currently, only one of the ‘big three’ has a manager in situ, so he will have to wait to establish those links.

Any loan players probably would not arrive until the end of August at the earliest, so Harrison will be working long and hard to bring permanent signings to the Vic.

One possible target could be former Pools forward Scott Fenwick, who has spent the last year in the National League with York City, who have been relegated to NL North.

The 27-year-old scored some vital goals for Pools during the Great Escape in 2015, but only had a limited chance under Ronnie Moore’s successor, Craig Hignett, who released him last summer.

Fenwick scored the vital extra-time semi-final penalty which took York to Wembley last month, but was an unused sub at the FA Trophy final.