Record-breaking manager flattered to be linked with Hartlepool United job

Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison

Highly-rated Craig Harrison has ambitions to manage at a higher level and says he is flattered to be linked with the Hartlepool United manager’s job.

In the wake of Dave Jones’ sacking after Pools dropped into the League Two relegation places, SportMail revealed that record-breaking Harrison has emerged as a contender for the hotseat.

The Gateshead-born former Middlesbrough defender has enjoyed a trophy-laden start to his coaching career in Wales with The New Saints.

The 39-year-old has led the club to six successive Welsh Premier League titles and six cups – with another on the horizon when they play their Welsh Cup Final on Sunday.

Harrison says he is flattered but insists his focus is on the final against Bala Town.

“I’ve said from day one that I’m a very ambitious person,” said Harrison

“I want to manage at the very best level I can.

“It’s nice to be linked to these jobs.

“But at this point in time the Welsh Cup Final is the be all and end all for me.

“Once that’s finished we’ll be preparing for the Champions League and then whatever will be will be,” he told the BBC.

Saints have already secured the Welsh Premier League title and the Nathaniel MG League Cup.

Harrison is understood to be keen to manage in England, and was short listed for the Gateshead job last season.

After missing out on that job at his hometown club, Harrison guided Saints to another championship this term, setting a new world record for successive top-flight wins in the process, with the 27 victories beating Ajax’s 44-year landmark.

Matthew Bates is currently in caretaker charge ahead of the crunch game at Cheltenham Town, with the former Middlesbrough defender being assisted by club captain Billy Paynter, coach Stuart Parnaby and physio Ian Gallagher.

Former Grimsby Town boss Marcus Bignot, former Pools player and coach Sam Collins and manager Ronnie Moore have all been linked with the manager’s job.