Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock praises Hartlepool United and Brad James for play-off win over Torquay United
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock was delighted to see Hartlepool United win promotion from the National League – especially after Boro keeper Brad James saved the decisive penalty kick in the play-off final.
Warnock, a former winger, played for Pools in the 1970s and has fond memories of the area, where he won the club’s Player of the Year in 1972.
The 72-year-old watched Hartlepool’s dramatic win over Torquay last month, when Gulls goalkeeper Lucas Covolan scored a stoppage-time equaliser to send the game to extra-time and penalties at Ashton Gate.
The shootout went to sudden death, before Boro loanee James saved Matt Buse’s spot kick, tipping the shot onto the crossbar to seal Pools’ triumph.
During an interview with BBC Tees Sport, Warnock was asked if he enjoyed Hartlepool’s promotion and return to the Football League, to which the Boro boss replied: “Especially with our keeper saving the penalty. I think that made it even better really.
“I was pleased because watching it he made a bit of a mistake for the equaliser, mind you it’s not very often you see a goalie come up and equalise is it.
“In fairness to him it was a brilliant save when you watched it back, the penalty save, and I was delighted me.
“I had mixed emotions because I was at Torquay as well as a manager, but Hartlepool up here it’s lovely.
“I like the old Victoria Park ground and I have a lot of time for that area, Seaton Carew.”