Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney praises the crucial role youth team coach Ian McGuckin has played in recent weeks

Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney is currently juggling first team and youth team duties alongside Ian McGuckin.

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 7:00 am
Ian McGuckin and Steven Gerrard. Picture: TOM BANKS

Pools’ lead youth coach has effectively been Sweeney’s caretaker assistant manager while also continuing his duties with the club’s youth team.

Despite the hectic schedule, things couldn’t have gone more perfectly for the coaching duo as they’ve led the first team to back-to-back wins and clean sheets while also overseeing a 6-0 FA Youth Cup win at Stockport County last week.

Sweeney and McGuckin are currently preparing the side for Saturday’s National League match at home to Barnet (3pm kick-off).

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“Gucks has been a massive help,” admitted Sweeney.

“I get on really well with him so I can be open and honest with him, you can say what you feel and he doesn’t always agree with me and I don’t always agree with him which is a good thing but we tend to be on the same page most of the time.

“He’s done that side of things in terms of helping out a caretaker manager three or four times before with Sam Collins and people like that so he’s experienced and he knows the football club.”

The dismissal of Craig Hignett and Ged McNamee prompted a coaching reshuffle which Sweeney hopes will only be temporary.

He added: “We’ve gone from two and a half first team staff with me being the half flitting between the 19s to being one and one with the 19s so we’ve had to juggle things around but Gucks has been excellent.”