Can ex-Premier League Marlon Harewood lead Hartlepool United away from trouble?

REVITALISED: Marlon Harewood. Picture by FRANK REID
REVITALISED: Marlon Harewood. Picture by FRANK REID

MARLON Harewood could be the man to lead Hartlepool United to League Two safety.

That is the hope of Paul Murray as Pools prepare for Saturday’s first home game for the new boss against Newport County.

Murray recalled the former Premiership striker to the squad for his opening game in charge at Cambridge at the weekend.

Harewood had been frozen out by caretaker boss Sam Collins after the resignation of Colin Cooper following the 3-0 home defeat to Carlisle.

But Murray not only took Harewood to the Abbey Stadium, he sent him on at the interval with the challenge of changing a game which had looked almost beyond Pools even at only 1-0 down.

And how the 35-year-old followed orders.

“I had a chat with Marlon and said ‘look, you will get an opportunity, it’s whether you take it or not’,” said Murray.

“I thought when he came on he looked really good.”

Harewood put himself about, making life uncomfortable for the U’s defence who had enjoyed an easy first 45 minutes.

His team play was excellent, teeing up Matt Crooks for a gilt-edged chance only for the on-loan Huddersfield man to fail to find the target.

And then she showed good skill and vision to set up Brad Walker for the equaliser, the midfielder thumping home his second goal of the season from the edge of the box.

It was an inspired move by Murray who will be looking for more of the same at the Vic against Newport.

“He set players up including our goal, but he also put their defenders under pressure,” Murray said.

“It allowed us to pushed them further back up the pitch.

“If you put people under pressure then mistakes happen.

“I really believe if we hadn’t conceded from the throw in at Cambridge, we could have got a second goal ourselves.”

Should Harewood repeat his second-half showing at the Abbey Stadium, that will be a massive boost for Murray.

Clearly, the Londoner still has the capability, it is about him producing it on the field.

When the chips were down against Morecambe back on Easter Monday and Pools appeared to be heading to a seventh straight defeat, he led the line with vigour.