New Pools boss Craig Harrison relishes exciting challenge

New Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison. Picture by Kevin Brady
New Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Craig Harrison is moving lock, stock and barrel up to the region this week – but doesn’t expect it to mean he gets any extra sleep.

The new Hartlepool United manager has enjoyed a whirlwind introduction to life in charge of the National League club since his appointment.

The Gateshead-born boss has been commuting from his Chester home, but is moving back to the North East this week as he steps up his focus on the job in hand.

The self-confessed workaholic will be joined in a few weeks’ time by his wife and daughter once the school term is finished.

But while he expects life to be a little easier when he’s based in the North East, Harrison will still be working every hour he can to help put Pools in the best position after their relegation.

“It’s been a relentless first week – the phone hasn’t stopped,” he said.

“There’s a lot to sort out. But I’m used to hard work and whatever it takes, I’ll do it.

“I’ve been up til 2am watching videos, watching footage of games and players, then travelling up to Hartlepool in the morning.

“It’s exciting, a real challenge and something I’m enjoying.”

Harrison is targeting a strong season after Pools were relegated from the Football League for the first time in 96 years.

Promotion back to League Two is his ultimate aim but he has warned that the club must get the ‘foundations’ in place first if they are to succeed.

The 39-year-old added: “It’s all about putting blocks in place, building from a foundation and working up.

“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and start promising this or that.

“But I’ll work hard and give my all, and that’s all anyone can ask.”

Harrison will be looking to make his first breakthrough in the transfer market this week and make progress in announcing the backroom set-up.

There is certainly scope for the ex-Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender to add to the squad. Pools released nine members of the squad last month while selling Nathyan Thomas to Sheffield United and Lewis Alessandra to Notts County.