Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison opens up on the struggles behind the scenes at Victoria Park
Craig Harrison has opened up on the struggles behind the scenes at Hartlepool United.
The prospect of the club plunging into administration has dominated the headlines of late, with Pools still yet to find the required £200,000 needed by next Thursday in order to stave off that threat for another month.
With all the talk of finances, it’s easy to forget that Pools have to get a team out this weekend for the visit of Wrexham to Victoria Park.
“Players may not have had this at other clubs before – and I haven’t – so it’s good to have staff to bounce things off and learn from,” said the manager.
“We all pull together, dig in and get on with it at this moment in time.
“Hopefully it’s something, in six, seven, eight, weeks time, we can look back on it as a positive life experience. It doesn’t always have to be a positive experience to improve your outlook.
“Bad experiences have made me as tough and resilient as I am – being forced to pack in football at 24 through injury.”
Injuries have again ravaged the squad, and some of Pools’ more high-profile names look set to miss out in front of what is set to be a sell-out crowd.
And morale in and around the training ground has been low.
Many players have been through this before – it was only 13 months ago that many in the dressing-room did not know if they’d be getting paid. Little has changed since the festive period of 2016.
Many of the experienced pros and the managerial team have been doing their best to lift spirits. And what is in no doubt is that this squad has character.
But it is proving ever more difficult to motivate when the club’s professionals do not know if they will be able to meet their own financial requirements at the end of the month.
Mortgages need paid, families need fed. Just because the perception of footballers living in a totally different world is still a commonly held one, doesn’t mean it applies in the fifth tier.
Some of Pools are playing staff are on regular working men’s wages. Their struggles are identical to those of you and I.
A win on Saturday would go some way to bringing back the feel-good factor to Pools, if just for a night.
“Confidence has been affected by results – as human beings it’s got to happen,” said Harrison.
“We are all people who want nice things and reassuring, scoring goals and getting pats on the back. That’s not been the way of things lately.
“We have a lot going on right now on and off the pitch. We have lads who have been through it.
“We use them as a bit of strength to build on – senior players guiding the younger players and we are only one win away from a big confidence boost.
“There’s enough quality here to get it right, especially with a full squad. You need a mixture of characteristics and traits and, at this moment in time, it’s about getting that mix right.”