Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh discusses the reaction to Paul Hartley's appointment

Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh is excited to see what new manager Paul Hartley can bring to the club after what has been a welcome appointment by supporters.

By Joe Ramage
Friday, 24th June 2022, 12:30 pm

Singh had to bide his time to secure the signature of Hartley and pry him away from Scottish League One champions Cove Rangers, but was able to get his man following a tough period of negotiations earlier this month.

Singh recently declared he had been impressed with Hartley upon their first meeting with one another and that he was drawn to the former Celtic and Hearts midfielder owing to his success as a manager in Scotland over the last 10 years.

And the Pools owner is now encouraged by the potential Hartley can deliver to the club.

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(Left to right) Chairman Raj Singh and Manager Paul Hartley shake hands following Hartley’s appointment. Picture by FRANk REID

“It’s been well received, that’s definitely how it feels,” said Singh.

“I think the fans are genuinely excited now to see what Paul and Gordon can bring to the football club and the type of football they want to play.

“All fans want to see exciting football and more so, as Paul has touched upon before, it’s a working class town and first and foremost what they want is the lads putting a shift in.

“It was the enthusiasm to get the job done,” Singh added.

“When he first found out that we were interested in him, he took a five hour drive here and a five hour drive back for the last game of the season - that says a lot to start off with.

“The rest of the stuff impressed us and he was right up there from day one.”

During the official unveiling of Hartley as new manager, both he and Singh suggested they were keen to target a play-off push this season with Hartley having grown familiar with success during his time as a manager.

Singh has spoken at length about the budget which has been made available to Hartley this summer for him to be able to form a squad capable of competing in League Two this season and that work is already under way with the Pools boss having welcomed three new additions to his squad.

Goalkeeper Kyle Letheren, defender Reghan Tumilty and midfielder Mouhamed Niang represent players Hartley has either worked with, or is familiar with, from his time in Scotland with more additions still to arrive at the Suit Direct Stadium before the season begins away to Walsall on July 30.

“As much as when you appoint a new manager, you can never guarantee success,” explained Singh.

“But beyond that, you look at what the manager has done and his previous jobs and I think the record speaks for itself with five promotions - you’re halfway there really.

“And when I talk about enthusiasm, I think when it was announced, Paul was on the phone to players when he was on holiday so that just shows you how keen he is to get stuck in.

“So I’ve got no problem whatsoever in thinking that getting players in this season is going to be a problem.”