Are ex-Boro boys Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett the new Clough and Taylor at Hartlepool

Craig Hignett
Craig Hignett
Share this article

THE new Clough and Taylor?

Has there ever been a greater double act in the history of football management? Almost certainly not.

And they began right here in 1965, a brash young Brian Clough allying himself to his old Middlesbrough comrade Peter Taylor.

So there is no better place for the bright and ambitious Colin Cooper to start his career on the “dark side”, as he puts it, alongside Craig Hignett.

The next Clough and Taylor? We shall see.

And before you say it, this is not lazy journalism, harking back to the days of Hartlepool’s most famous boss, or heaping the pressure on the new boys before they have even moved into their office at Victoria Park.

Cooper brought up the great man’s name himself.

Not out of any arrogance, though you get the impression that the determined and steely Cooper is not short of self-belief, but because he knows it is possible to turn around the fortunes of Hartlepool United.

And that is the task the 46-year-old Cooper and the 43-year-old Hignett have accepted.

“Forty-eight years ago, a certain Mr Clough started here,” said Cooper.

“I wasn’t lucky enough to play under him.

“But if me and Craig can be as successful as Brian and Peter Taylor were all those years ago then we’ll do all right and Hartlepool will do all right.

“It’s a great opportunity and one I’m very grateful for.

“And the way me and Craig feel about the opportunity means that we are going to put our heart and soul into it.”

SEE Monday’s Mail for full story and three pages on Colin Cooper’s arrival at Pools