Pools star aims for play-offs to cap career next season

Paul Murray runs at the Orient defence. Picture by FRANK REID
Paul Murray runs at the Orient defence. Picture by FRANK REID

PAUL Murray is backing Mick Wadsworth to propel Hartlepool United towards the Championship in what he admits will probably be the final season of his career.

The midfield schemer, who turns 35 in August, penned a one-year deal at Victoria Park last summer having impressed during a trial spell.

Wadsworth has already expressed his desire to retain the services of Murray, and they will sit down with chairman Ken Hodcroft at the end of the campaign in a bid to thrash out terms to an extension of his contract.

And the Cumbrian told SportMail: “I’ve spoken with Mick about staying next season and it’s something I want to do.

“I’ll take each year as it comes but I think next year might be my final one.

“I don’t like to say that but I’ve played 40 games this season and it’s been difficult for me.

“I have Mondays off sometimes because I’m still so tired.

“But it’s nice to hear Mick say he wants to keep me and we’ll just have to see what we can negotiate now.

“The length of careers is going down and down – the amount of kids who are coming in and then dropping out is incredible.

“So it’s nice to still be in the game. Hopefully I’ll turn 35 at the end of August and still be in the game, that’s the aim.”

Murray is never afraid to speak his mind and the former Queens Park Rangers man wants his final campaign to be a successful one.

But he believes that will only be the case should Wadsworth ship out some of the deadwood and be allowed to bring in new faces, in particular goalscorers, on decent wages.

“Credit to Mick, he’s done a great job,” he added, “He’s got it more organised and we’ve done well.

“It’s about cracking on for next year now and why can’t we get into the play-offs?

“The wage budget here is big and if we can get move on a few and bring some strikers in on decent money then it’s simple facts.

“Goalscorers are you’re bread and butter in this league – if you’ve got a couple of strikers who can get 10 or 15 and throw in Tony Sweeney’s goals then you’re going to be in there.”

Full story in Thursday’s Mail