David Ginola fan Craig Harrison reveals which Hartlepool player he wants to build team around

Nicky Featherstone
Nicky Featherstone

By his own admission Hartlepool United’s Craig Harrison was not the easiest on the eye in his playing days.

But the former defender says he knows a footballer when he sees one, counting the likes of Glenn Hoddle and ex-Newcastle star David Ginola as his childhood heroes.

While some fans prefer to see players charge around making tackles and kissing the badge, Harrison prefers more subtle qualities.

A footballer who is clever in his movement, finds space, or does much without appearing, to the untrained eye, to do very much at all.

And, having had a long summer to assess the merits of his Pools ranks, Harrison is certain he just that kind of player within his Pools squad.

And he’s intent, fitness allowing, to build his National League charge around them.

“Nicky Featherstone is the type of player I want to build the team around, without a shadow of a doubt,” said Harrison.

“I like footballers, I have done since I was a kid. Glenn Hoddle was one of my heroes. David Ginola was my favourite player when I was younger. I know I wasn’t that kind of player – I was horrible. As a manager though I have an appreciation of a good footballer.”

Harrison continued: “He is a player who really fits into my philosophy, he fits the way I want my team to play football.

“He is my type of player. A player that can control the tempo with his passing. He showed that with the goal on Tuesday, he was composed in the build up.”

Featherstone is again expected to start in the heart of Pools midfield for today’s tricky looking trip to Bromley, who hammered Leyton Orient 6-1 at Hayes Lane in the week.

“It is going to be tough for him physically,” said Harrison of the player ahead of the clash. “Tuseday was the first game he has had back and he got 85 minutes under his belt.

“It was his first real test but he covered a lot of ground in the game according to the stats and came through it well.

“We played a bit of an animation of a 4-4-2, with Conor (Newton) getting further forward and Nicky getting on the ball.

“Nicky has been injured and he is a fantastic technician. He has just not been fit enough to put that into practice due to that double hernia op at the start of pre-season.”

While Featherstone might not always get the credit of the fans, he definitely has a fan in Harrison.

The boss wants his players to take a leaf out of the 28-year-old former Hull City, Hereford United and Walsall player’s book.

Harrison explained: “People go on about players who are hard, run around – the Vinnie Jones’s of this world, but I think you can be brave in a different way.

“I have more respect for players who are brave in wanting the ball, who try things, maybe give it away but still ask for it back the next time.

“I want players to be brave when the team is not playing well, still want the ball on a tough night – Nicky is a one of them. His calming influence was a big factor the other night.”