Hartlepool United a ‘joke’ over Paul Murray sacking says angry boss

FINAL GAME: Sam Collins and Paul Murray at the end of the FA Cup game against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID
FINAL GAME: Sam Collins and Paul Murray at the end of the FA Cup game against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID

OLDHAM Athletic boss Lee Johnson has branded Hartlepool United’s decision to sack his former first team coach as a “joke”.

Paul Murray, who left the Latics to take over at Pools six weeks ago, was axed on Saturday morning after just 45 days in charge at Victoria Park overseeing seven games.

The 2-1 FA Cup second round home defeat to Blyth Spartans was his final game in charge and his former boss at Oldham has hit out at the decision by the Sky Bet League Two club.

Johnson believes the mess Murray inherited at Pools needed a long-term commitment to clean-up.

“It’s a joke isn’t it? Let’s be honest,” said Johnson.

“They have brought a rookie in, given him seven games and then have got rid of him.

“It is something that is very wrong in football at the moment.

“Managers all over the place are under pressure and it is having a real effect on English football.

“We are looking at wanting England to win the World Cup and bringing English managers through.

“And we are making knee-jerk reactions off certain games.

“If you are going to give someone the opportunity to have a first-time job then you have to stick with them, because nobody can perform miracles with what was very poor recruitment before his term.

“I am angry about that one not just because he is my friend but because I am a football person.

“I’m a young manager myself.

“Maybe it is not my place to talk about other clubs but I will do on this occasion and I am very disappointed with the hierarchy at Hartlepool for what they have done.”

The Latics boss spoke to Murray on Saturday morning following his dismissal.

Johnson added: “He was very disappointed and rightly so, because he’s a passionate man.

“Now what does he do?

“He has to go and try to find himself a job, having been embarrassed by poor senior management at a football club.”

The news of Murray’s departure was announced on Saturday morning via a short statement on the club’s website, which added the club would be making no further comment at this time.

Murray was the club’s sixth manager since Mick Wadsworth left the club in December 2011.

Player coach Sam Collins - among the favourites to be given the job for the rest of the season - has been placed in temporary charge.