Uncertainty about the future is the biggest challenge facing Craig Harrison facing at Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.
Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.

Craig Harrison believes uncertainty about the club’s future is the biggest challenge on his plate at Hartlepool United.

But, whatever the pressures, on or off the park, the current situation is nowhere near the toughest battle Harrison has faced in his career.

The manager says that despite all the stresses and strains at Pools at present, this struggle pails into comparison compared to the time he found out he would not play again, at the age of just 24.

Although, he says the lingering doubt and not knowing whether there is light at the end of the tunnel, or even an end in sight, does have similarities to his attempts rebuild his career after his leg injury.

“Just drawing on my own experience, when I broke my leg the time I had not knowing if I was going to play again was worse than actually being told I couldn’t play again,” he said.

“I could visualise what I’m doing now, pull myself together and get on once I knew and had been told.

“But when I was recovering, there was six months where I needed another operation, had the uncertainty of not knowing was the worst part. Worst-case scenario you can plan, deal with it and get on.

“Not knowing is the hardest part. At some time there has to be an end to it, for everyone’s sake.”

Harrison’s side take on Woking, weather permitting, on Saturday.

It will be their first game since Eastleigh on January 27.

Not being able to get out on the park, has meant the focus on procedings off the park has heightened somewhat.

Harrison continued: “This doesn’t compare to having your boyhood dream taken away at 24.

“Nothing I go through in football will be as bad as that.

As a manager it is the worst situation I have known. You cannot concentrate on the football side of things 100%, you have to juggle that with the pressures from elsewhere.

“We have to just try and keep things moving as smooth as possible.

“There is a lot going on. But we have good staff. Others jobs are being shared and we want to make things work.

“The players are important. We need to keep them focused.

“I hope something can get done.

People are edgy about what is happening - the sooner this situation is sorted out the better.

“It is human nature you take your eye off the ball in these situations - not getting at the end of the month. Whether that’s 1% or 5%.

“We are not thinking beyond the end of the month.

We hope that after that an investor can come in and take the club forward. But we just have to focus on the game.

“We have an honest group of lads and support staff. They will give everything when that whistle goes to hopefully get the right result.”