Paul Murray wants to turn Victoria Park into fortress for Hartlepool United

POSITIVE: Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID
POSITIVE: Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray. Picture by FRANK REID

NEW Hartlepool United boss Paul Murray has vowed to turn Victoria Park into a fortress.

Murray was today preparing for his first home game in charge tomorrow when Pools play host to Newport County (kick-off 3pm).

The 38-year-old has fond memories of his time as a Pools star in League One .

The former player of the year acknowledges the current situation is depressing for the fans who are watching the third relegation campaign in a row and he is determined to give fans “something to shout about”.

Murray said: “We have to make the Vic a fortress again.

“I was involved in that when I was a player and that’s what I’m looking forward to doing now.

“I just want the fans to get behind us.

“I’ll give them something to shout about – that’s my aim.

“I’d like to think I did that as a player.

“The squad have ability to do that too but they must show more consistency.”

Murray came close to a result on his managerial debut – Pools had fought back to level at 1-1 at Cambridge, only to concede a late winner.

But after a week on the training ground with his squad, the Cumbrian hopes for a positive start tomorrow against high-flying County.

“The lads have been good and responsive,” he said.

“It’s difficult being bottom, looking up at all the teams above you.

“We’ve got to try to take things position by position, get out of the relegation zone, then set another little target and so on.

But the morale has been good, the boys are having a bit of banter which is what we need to see.”

Murray admitted he has not had time to eat or sleep in his first full week at the club.

Instead, he has immersed himself in the job – working daily ion the training field and making countless calls in a bid to strengthen his squad.

“It’s been good, but very difficult, I’ve not been sleeping much or eating.

“I know I am going to have to delegate a few more jobs but when you come in, the first thing you want to do is get your philosophy across.

“I think I’ve got through to the lads about my ethos and hopefully we’ll see that come into play [tomorrow].”

Murray seemed to have an immediate effect last weekend at Cambridge where a second-half comeback almost produce a point.

He wants Pools to build on that display but learn their lesson from the late U’s winner.

“I made some changes, one in particular at half-time, bringing on Marlon,” he said.

“We scored a good goal – involving probably six passes – and I was pleased with that.

“I watched the dvd back and thought first half we were not too bad defensively.

“We just were not good enough on the ball, we did not retain it or keep it moving, so I was disappointed we did not keep it better.

“That’s something I am going to have to bring to the table.

“To concede, naively, on 88 minutes from a long throw was disappointing.

“We probably thought ‘we have a point here’ but you don’t until the final whistle goes.

“We have to be vigilant in our defending.”