Pools fans have their say over sacking of manager Craig Harrison

Pools fans said they were not surprised at yesterday's sacking of manager Craig Harrison.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21 February, 2018, 17:17
Hartlepool United V Maidenhead. National League. Craig Harrison after the final whistle. Picture: TOM BANKS

Supporters said the only shock is that it did not happen sooner following months of watching poor performances and defeats.

Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling has questioned whether the club will be able to appoint a new manager given uncertainty surrounding the long-term future until a new buyer is found.

Craig Harrison with Jeff Stelling.

Hartlepool United Supporters Trust chairman Ron Harnish said the players must take a large share of the blame.

Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat away to Halifax leaves Pools just three points above the relegation zone.

Reacting to the news of Harrison’s departure, Jeff the Mail: “I feel very sorry for him.

“I think he is a genuinely good man, but at the end of the day on the field somehow we have got to get enough results to make sure we are not in that bottom four regardless of what happens off the field.

Victoria Park, home of Hartlepool United.

“It has come at a time when everything that’s been going on around him off field must have been a massive distraction, and the fact he has lost players here, there and everywhere.”

Regarding any future appointment, Jeff added: “I just don’t think we are in a situation where we would get anybody.

“Who wants to come to take a job where the future of the club might not have more than a month to go?”

Money totalling £85,000 raised by fans helped to make sure February’s home games can be played, but the future is less certain because of Pools’ financial worries.

Hartlepool United Supporters Trust chairman Ron Harnish with Pools mascot H'Angus

He said: “If I was them I would go cap in hand to Ronnie Moore and say ‘come and use your experience’ to help Matty Bates.

“He seems a blindingly obvious choice to me.”

Ex-manager Moore, who pulled off The Great Escape in 2015 by saving Pools from relegation against the odds, recently offered to help Pools who have only won once since November.

Hartlepool fan Mike Lewis, who helped organise last month’s sell-out Save Pools Day match, said: “I’m relieved he has actually gone. Personally, and I know a lot of fans think the same, it has been on the cards for quite some time.

Craig Harrison with Jeff Stelling.

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“My feeling is he was a dead man walking for quite a while.

“I honestly feel if he had stayed we would have gone down.

“It has given me hope and gives us a chance of staying up this season.

“I just hope they make the right appointment.”

BBC DJ Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough said Harrison’s lack of experience, and also his players, ultimately cost him his job.

“It is no surprise,” he said. “It has been an extremely difficult time but he had a huge budget in the summer to bring in players and a lot let him down.

Victoria Park, home of Hartlepool United.

“Most of them never came up to the expectation of the big build up Harrison gave them and have been major disappointments.

“The fans have been saying for ages ‘do something, make a change’. It has been amazing, the club let it go on for so long.

“He had no experience of that level at all. If the club had brought someone in who knew that division they might have had a better chance but he and the players he brought in were all novices.

“It is such a sad state of affairs. We are into the last throes of the season now so it is alarming.”

On Twitter Pools supporter Liam A said: “30 games too late.”

Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter tweeted: “Those responsible for hiring and firing have consistently got it wrong!!! Dave Jones appointment was the catalyst for present problems.”

On Facebook, Sven Graham said: “Without doubt the right decision, he seemed out of his depth and his tactics and decision making in games were terrible.

“Sad for him it didn’t work but I had seen enough by December.”

Tim Beadle asked: “How the hell are they going to afford a new manager!”

Hartlepool United Supporters Trust chairman Ron Harnish with Pools mascot H'Angus