Hartlepool United legend Michael Nelson reveals how close he came to getting manager's job and whether he'd go back again

Hartlepool United legend Michael Nelson has twice come close to landing the manager’s job at Victoria Park.

Friday, 22nd May 2020, 11:20 am
Michael Nelson in action for a Hartlepool United legends side in October 2019. Picture by FRANK REID

The current Blyth Spartans boss, who made over 300 appearances for Pools between 2003 and 2009, revealed he’s been interviewed three times in total for the manager’s position at his former club.

Nelson was reportedly in line to be Pools manager in February 2018 following the sacking of Craig Harrison before the club opted to give the job to Matty Bates.

He once again came close following Bates’ dismissal later that year only to lose out to Richard Money, who would last little over a month at Victoria Park.

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The 40-year-old defender was also rumoured to have spoken to Hartlepool during their managerial search that led to Dave Challinor’s appointment last season.

After retiring from playing at the turn of the year, Nelson had a brief spell as assistant manager at League Two side Stevenage before being appointed as caretaker at National League North outfit Blyth Spartans. Earlier this month, he was handed his first permanent manager’s position at Croft Park.

Speaking about his interviews at Hartlepool on the Switch of Play Podcast, Nelson said: “I had a first interview and a second interview one time around and then I took another interview when [the job] came up another time.

“I was told by the chairman and the chief exec that I got down to the final two both times. It’s just one of those things, it wasn’t to be.

“I think the actual first time I got interviewed for the job was the first-ever interview I did. I was in there for about three hours, it was quite a detailed presentation that I did.

“I got invited back for a second interview and pretty much thought I was there or thereabouts when I left the room after the second interview and got told that as well afterwards but it wasn’t to be.

“There’s went on to be quite a bit of change since that first interview so maybe it just wasn’t the right time and wouldn’t have worked out if I did get it.

“I could have been brilliant or a could have dodged a bullet, you just never know so all you can do is react and adapt to what’s going on and at the minute I’m at Blyth and I’ll chuck the same focus, detail and attention into that role as I would if I was at Hartlepool or Stevenage.”

When discussing if he’d ever go back in for the Pools job in the future, Nelson added: “I think the circumstances would have to dictate that.

“Obviously my circumstances with where I would be at the time as well. I wouldn’t say just because it came up, I would 100 per-cent go in after the effort I put in to trying to get it and getting really good feedback every time but it not materialising.

“Is the feedback genuine, is it not? You don’t know if other people have been told the same.

“It would be a case of looking at the circumstances, why the job is available and where I am as well.”