Hartlepool United non-executive director Adrian Bevington reveals the decision making process behind the appointment of former Sheffield Wednesday defender Graeme Lee as new manager

Adrian Bevington is ‘very confident’ Hartlepool United have got the right men in charge following the appointment of Graeme Lee and Michael Nelson.

By Joe Ramage
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 6:00 am

Lee will take charge of his first league game as manager this evening when Pools host Rochdale at the Suit Direct Stadium.

And Lee’s first task will be to arrest a run of five straight defeats that has seen the club slide into the bottom half of the table after a promising start to the season.

Stepping into the dugout at the Suit Direct Stadium will be a dream come true for Lee but just what was it about Lee and Nelson that convinced the club’s board they were the right candidates for the job?

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Adrian Bevington reveals the decision making process behind Graeme Lee's appointment at Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID

“We’ve known Graeme, as we’ve known Michael, a long time as a club. What was very impressive was the clarity in which they spoke when we sat down with them,” explained Pools’ non-executive director Bevington.

“They’ve got real clear ideas of how they want to develop the team, how they want the team to play and the standards they want to bring to the football club to build on what is already in place.

“It was really seamless how they presented it. Obviously they’re both on the same page in their thinking which was really important to us.

“Graeme has really earned his stripes over the last number of years at Middlesbrough. Michael has a great history around this football club as well - around 500 games between them, and we were just very impressed by everything we heard from them.

Graeme Lee got off to a winning start as Hartlepool United manager in Saturday's FA Cup win over Lincoln City. (Credit: Mark Fletcher)

"We feel that their leadership skills are really important for what we need to take us forward.”

Despite Bevington’s assurances over both Lee and Nelson, there can be no denying supporters had grown concerned over the time in which it took to finalise the appointment.

Dave Challinor’s exit came as a shock following the 5-0 defeat at Leyton Orient and while proceedings took longer than expected, Bevington reveals it allowed the club the opportunity to evaluate where they were at across several departments.

“We’ve been quite open about the fact it has taken longer than we would have hoped for or anticipated,” Bevington told The Mail.

Graeme Lee was appointed the new manager of Hartlepool United alongside assistant Michael Nelson. Picture by FRANK REID

“First of all, we weren’t expecting to be in the situation that we were in. The club, as has been explained before, was in very good health but circumstances dictated a move, so we were starting from scratch.

“Therefore we wanted to have a proper review and that probably slowed us up a little bit as to exactly what we had got.

“But then you have to be sure that you were getting the right people in for the club at that particular time. And we are all very clear that we’ve got the right people.

“I think we can dissect how long the process has taken but ultimately the most important thing at the end of it is, the people you’ve got you feel confident in and, as a board, we feel very confident we’ve got two people in Graeme and Michael to take us forward.

“The club is in a really strong place off the pitch and it’s important we reference that.

“But it’s now time to put the foot on the gas and let the guys get on with the football.”

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