Murray will guarantee no nonsense at Hartlepool United

Referee Scott Mattieson looks on as Paul Murray wins the ball. Hartlepool United V Exeter City 2-0 03-09-2011. Photograph by FRANK REID
Referee Scott Mattieson looks on as Paul Murray wins the ball. Hartlepool United V Exeter City 2-0 03-09-2011. Photograph by FRANK REID
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ONE thing you can guarantee under Hartlepool United’s new management team is that there will be no nonsense.

New boss Paul Murray was a tough-tackling, fully committed midfield enforcer during his playing career which involved a three-year stay at Pools.

He will certainly need those battling qualities if he is to steer the club out of its current predicament and make sure they remain in the Football League.

The Cumbrian was a popular figure during his time at the club and he will have the backing of Pools fans from the off.

Murray admitted himself that his signing as a player wasn’t exactly inspirational but his experience in the middle quickly won supporters over.

Being manager is a whole new ball game but like chief executive Russ Green said when Murray was released as a player he always gave “100 per cent”.

Murray – who had always spoken of wanting to move into management one day – will also need the support and backing from the club that has given him his first opportunity at being called gaffer.

Assisting Murray is Glasgow-born Willie Donachie who has a wealth of experience having started out playing way back in 1968.

Donachie – who won 35 caps for Scotland – turned out more than 350 times for Manchester City including playing in two League Cup finals, before moving to America with Portland Timbers in 1980.

After a season in the States he returned to England with Norwich City who paid £200,000 for his services before rejoining Portland in 1982 for a second spell.

In 1982 he became assistant manager to Joe Royle at Oldham Athletic, helping steer the club towards the Premier League and a League Cup Final before the pair moved to Everton.

Experienced Donachie has also coached at Sheffield United, a second spell at City, Sheffield Wednesday and then Ipswich Town and Millwall before becoming boss of Antigua and Barbuda before returning to England to take up the post of assistant director of Newcastle United’s Academy.

The 63-year-old had resigned in February over an allegation he struck Newcastle defender Remie Streete after an Under-21 fixture.

He is back in football now though and will be using his wealth of experience to assist Murray, a former England B international.

The 38-year-old made 105 appearances for Pools during a three-year stay between 2010 and 2013 and became a fans favourite and won Player of the Year in 2011-12.

He was released by Pools with then manager John Hughes keen to free funds for new signings.

Murray – a former Carlisle, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton and Oldham player – soon re-signed for Oldham Athletic after leaving The Vic and eventually became first team coach at Boundary Park.

A former general of ex-Pools boss Mick Wadsworth, Murray also played for Portuguese side Beira Mar, Gretna and Shrewsbury Town so has seen it all at this level.

Pools fans are hoping the contacts he will have made over the years will reap benefits for the club over the coming months but we’ll have to wait and see on that score.

Murray has always maintained good relations with the hierarchy at Pools so perhaps his appointment shouldn’t come as to much of a surprise.

When the midfielder was released last year, Green said: “I’m sure that if he puts in the same amount of dedication and commitment he’s shown here in the last two and a half years that he will make a massive success of whatever he whatever chooses to do in the future.”

Pools will be hoping his first “massive success” as manager is keeping Pools in the Football League.