PAUL Murray was destined to become a manager one day according to his former Hartlepool United coach Micky Barron.
The club stalwart, a former player, coach and caretaker manager at Pools, was working as a coach for the duration of Murray’s time there as a player.
Barron had previously called for someone with experience to be appointed and admitted he was surprised with the appointment.
But he has backed Murray to make a success of his time in the Pools dugout.
Murray made more than 100 appearances for Pools between 2010-13, and made no secret of his desire to move into management.
“You could always tell he was going to become a manager one day,” Barron said.
“He was very close to Mick Wadsworth who was manager at the time and he was always interested in what we were doing on the coaching side of things.
“He was always going to go down that route but it is a good opportunity for him.
“Muzza certainly isn’t scared of hard work, that’s for sure.”
Former defender Barron, who worked as youth team coach, reserve team coach and caretaker manager, spent 17 years at the club between 1996 and 2013 – the last three of which working with Murray.
“To be honest the appointment came as a bit of a surprise,” added Barron.
“I had heard one or two rumours but I am delighted for him.
“He is wholehearted, he always gave us 100 per cent in training and playing and he will want the players to do the same.
“Paul loves football and I am sure he will give it his all and work as hard as he possibly can.
“Bringing in Willie Donachie as well is a great move as he has a lot of experience.
“It is important when you have a young manager that there is someone alongside them with experience.
“I think it is quite exciting and the fans will be happy.
“They will be hoping they can get the team playing with the same level of commitment he showed.”
The 39-year-old believes Murray must be given room to strengthen the squad if Pools are to have any chance of climbing League Two.
Struggling Pools are second bottom going into the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two match at Cambridge United.
Barron said: “It is going to be tough.
“You can come in and change systems and formations and the way they play but unless you can change some of the players it will be tough for him.
“If he can get some of his own personal attributes into the team then Pools will have a good chance of fighting it out.
“It would be nice to see some funds become available to give them a really good chance of climbing the league.”
The pair worked alongside each other for three years but Barron says it will be interesting to see how Murray sets up his Pools side.
Barron added: “Muzza kept himself to himself, he was his own man.
“I wouldn’t say I got on better with him than anyone else or worse than anyone else, he was just quite happy in his own company.
“That is the type of guy he is.
“He does have a tough side to him but these days you need to have that man management element too and get along with the players.
“Whether he will want to play football or play more direct we’ll have to see.”
Chester-le-Street-born Barron played 374 times for Pools over the course of his career.
He left in the summer of 2013 when he was axed as assistant manager along with manger John Hughes, following relegation from League One.