Dolan: Don’t write off Hartlepool United just yet

Matty Dolan at the end of the game against Newport. Picture by FRANK REID
Matty Dolan at the end of the game against Newport. Picture by FRANK REID
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MATTY Dolan has urged people not to “write-off” relegation battlers Hartlepool United just yet.

Managerless Pools – who sacked Paul Murray and assistant Willie Donachie at the weekend – are bottom of the Football League and six-points adrift of safety going into a crucial festive period.

The situation at the Sky Bet League Two club looks bleak with Pools managing just three league wins all season.

But 21-year-old Dolan said while the current situation is “frustrating” for players and fans alike, he still believes Pools can get out of trouble this season.

Hartlepool-born Dolan is on loan from Bradford City and he believes Pools can take inspiration this campaign from his parent club.

Back in 2012-13 Bradford, who had finished 18th in the previous two seasons, managed to sneak into the play-offs and seal promotion to League One after a terrific late run of form.

Dolan believes League Two is a “funny old league” and hopes a fourth win of the season will spark an unbeaten run to safety.

“Of course it is frustrating to see where Pools are but we are all in it together,” said Dolan.

“We just need to get that one win and see where we go from there. It can happen again this year, like it did last year at this club.

“You cannot write anybody off in this league.

“Bradford were 12th and ended up getting promoted into League One. It is a funny old game and a funny old league.”

Dolan was Murray’s final signing as Pools boss, his eighth and last of his six week tenure, and will remain on loan at the club until the end of December.

It is his second spell at the club after spending the first half of last season here under then boss Colin Cooper.

The midfielder was cup-tied for Friday night’s FA Cup second round defeat to Blyth Spartans, but he is set to return to the starting line-up for the trip to promotion chasing Burton Albion this weekend.

Burton, managed by former Middlesbrough striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, are fourth in League Two.

In his first game back at Pools, Dolan started in midfield alongside last year’s young player of the season Brad Walker.

The 18-year-old has been struggling for form in his second season as a professional footballer and the Billingham teen was dropped from the side last time Sam Collins was placed in caretaker charge.

It would be no surprise if that happened again but Dolan, friends with Walker, believes he can help get the best out of the midfielder ahead of the Burton trip.

Dolan said: “I feel like I can help Brad.

“Everybody knows what he is about and he was flying last year and is a very talented footballer.

“I don’t have that much experience myself but we are mates off the pitch and know each other well.

“It will be good once we get that partnership going on the pitch.”