Murray loving being Hartlepool manager despite sleepless nights

Hartlepool United Manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United Manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID

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UPBEAT Paul Murray is loving his first role in management at Hartlepool United - despite the sleepless nights.

The 38-year-old has been in charge at the Sky Bet League Two side for almost a fortnight and admits it has been a huge challenge but one he is thriving on.

Murray left his role as first team coach at Oldham Athletic to take over at strugglers Pools, who are bottom of the Football League and was under no illusions as to the task ahead of him.

But the Cumbrian, who is being assisted by Willie Donachie, admits his opening two weeks in the job have been an “eye-opener”.

Murray is keen to improve the under-strength squad and has been taking in several matches to watch potential signings, including Manchester City’s development squad take on Everton.

“I’m not really sleeping properly yet,” said Murray.

“I watched Man City v Everton on Friday, got back at 11pm, thought I’d be knackered but I was up at five [on Saturday morning].

“My head is buzzing with everything because there’s so much to take in.

“You try and think what is to do next.

“I woke up early Saturday morning and had a notepad out straight away making notes for the match - honestly, it’s manic!

“It’s an eye opener and long days from start to finish.

“But it is enjoyable for sure.”

Murray replaced Colin Cooper as manager at Victoria Park who resigned last month after the 3-0 home defeat to Carlisle United.

Since taking over the reins, the former Carlisle United, Queens Park Rangers and Pools midfield enforcer, has overseen a 2-1 defeat away to Cambridge United and the 2-2 draw at home to Newport County at Victoria Park.

He insists the way his Pools side fought back on Saturday from two-nil down going into the final ten minutes to secure a point has given him the confidence that he is on the right track.

Murray, who made more than 100 appearances for Pools between 2010-13, added: “Just seeing the players out there react like that gives me the confidence I can do a pretty good job and get the best out of people.”

- RICHARD MENNEAR