Hartlepool boss urges players to make club more saleable

Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison

Craig Harrison has tasked his Hartlepool United players with making the club the most attractive prospect possible to any prospective new owners.

And he knows the only way his squad can do that, is by winning games.

Pools still have 15 games to go in their National League campaign, after their weekend clash with Barrow was called off due a waterlogged pitch.

That has meant Harrison’s men have not kicked a ball competitively for almost three weeks – and with the campaign set to end on the last weekend of April, there is a backlog of unplayed games piling up.

Harrison knows his players must put together the kind of run they’ve not managed to do since November in order to avoid the drop to the National League North, which has edged closer and closer during their 11-game winless run.

And the manager knows the performances of his players mean a whole lot more than points on the board, with the future of the whole football club also at stake.

“At the end of the day, I try to make sure the players do not worry about all of the things going on off the field,” said Harrison.

“Spending just one per cent of my day worrying about things I can’t control – I’ve got it down to a fine art now.

“The stuff will go on off the pitch, whatever we do. What we can’t do for the club is find new owners. I can’t do that, neither can the players.

“What I can do, what the staff can do, and the players on the pitch, is try and make the club a lot more of an attractive proposition for someone who might walk through the door.”

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again, we only need to worry about what we can control. But that can also have an impact.”

The manager has come in for a fair bit of criticism of late, with his team struggling to break the fifth tier rut they’ve worked themselves into.

Pools have picked up just three points since November 21. It’s a run Harrison knows is just not good enough for a club the size of Hartlepool United.

In that time everything from tactics and selections to set pieces and substitutions have come under the microscope from Poolies on the terraces.

Still, he says he has thick enough skin to take the critics words on the chin.

“It is only this job when everyone has an opinion on your job,” said the manager, whose side take on Woking at Victoria Park this weekenD.

“But that’s the sport you’re in.

“I find myself doing it. When I watch Monday Night Football I analyse, why is he doing that, etc.

“And the stupid thing is that I know all of this, as I am on the other side of things.

“What you know as a manager is that you have to be mentally tough.”