Mick Wadsworth lost Hartlepool United top job over poor home form, says chairman Ken Hodcroft

Ken Hodcroft.

Ken Hodcroft.

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MICK Wadsworth paid the price for Hartlepool’s crowd-shrinking home form as well as their first-round exit from all three cup competitions.

That was the message from chairman Ken Hodcroft when he addressed the club’s shareholders during yesterday’s annual meeting at Victoria Park.

The Newcastle-based businessman – charged with taking care of club affairs by owners IOR – used graphs to illustrate the side’s dip in results and the fall in attendances, which saw nearly 2,000 season-ticket holders fail to show for last week’s defeat to Preston North End.

Hodcroft, who relieved Wadsworth of his duties during a meeting in Newcastle in Tuesday, said: “We very much appreciate all of the efforts Mick put in.

“But the last seven home games went against him.

“We did not want to have that record of seven home defeats.

“That was disappointing on the back of enticing people to buy season tickets.

“The graph shows which the way the trend is going.

“We just felt, after a lot of reflection, that it was the right thing to do.

“These things aren’t easy – there are always positives and negatives.

“But we just felt a fresh direction was required.

“We wish Mick all the best for his future.

“His time here was greatly appreciated by everyone and I don’t just say that as a nice little phrase because someone has left and I want to say some fancy words – we genuinely mean that.”

For the first time in 10 years Pools crashed out of all three cup competitions – the FA Cup, Carling Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – at the earliest stage and that also had a bearing on Hodcroft’s decision to change the manager.

“It was disappointing to go out in all three competitions,” he said.

“It’s disappointing because of the money, of course, but it’s nice for the fans and everyone at the club to get into the second and third round of these competitions because it brings that little bit of excitement.

“And the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy means you can always end up at Wembley.”

He added: “We never put an emphasis on any manager that we have to make progress in the cups and we don’t budget for that.

“But if we do progress, it’s a nice little earner.”