PAUL Murray is looking to hit the ground running as Hartlepool United manager with a win in his opening match at Cambridge United.
The 38-year-old Cumbrian was confirmed as Pools boss yesterday lunchtime, replacing Colin Cooper who resigned earlier this month, and he takes charge of his first match tomorrow.
Murray hasn’t wasted any time and took training with the squad this morning before heading south for the Sky Bet League Two match.
The former Pools midfielder has always wanted to manage and his first job in the hotseat has come at the club he left last year.
“I have always had an idea that I wanted to manage,” said Murray who left his job as first team coach at Oldham Athletic to join Pools.
“The last few years at Oldham have gone really well for me, I was lucky to get an opportunity there and I am grateful for that.
“This opportunity has come up now and I will grab it with both hands.
“I have to give the players that lift and me signing hopefully gives the players that lift.
“I am enthusiastic and I will probably manage the same way I played.
“Tactically I believe I am good enough and we’ll see how it goes but we need to hit the ground running,
“With the predicament we are in we need to keep a clean sheet.
“I want to pass the ball but conscious of the other side and keep it solid, keeping it nice and tight.
“But I want to play attacking football for sure because we need to score goals - there is no doubt about it.”
He will be joined in the dugout by assistant Willie Donachie who he has hailed as “very loyal and honest”.
Murray said: “It is very important to have Willie alongside me.
“I had a few people in mind but when I spoke to him he was the right match, he is very loyal and honest and I need questions asking of me all the time on session planning and tactics.
“He is happy to do that and it could be a good match.”
Murray made more than 100 appearances for Pools between 2010-13 before moving to Oldham, where he went on to become first team coach.
He now heads up a strong management team at the Clarence Road club.
Player coach Sam Collins, who had impressed during his spell as caretaker boss, will return to his duties with the reserve team while also pulling his boots back on for the first team.
It has also been confirmed that Stephen Pears will remain on the staff as the club’s goalkeeping coach.
Murray added: “It is very similar to Oldham, I left there all those years and then went back.
“Everyone was the same, you see old faces and it is very similar at Hartlepool.
“Some of the players are still here and that is another good sign.
“I think I will be good on the man management side, that is a big thing that I am all about, getting the players to play to their best.
“Those I don’t know I need to get to know quickly.
“I am in charge tomorrow, I have worked with Sam about the formation and there may be some changes, but I will be straight in there trying to rally the troops to get the result at Cambridge.
“Hopefully I’ll get the reaction from the players and go and get a result - particularly the clean sheet.”