24 October 2014 15:11
New Hartlepool United manager Paul Murray takes charge of his first League Two match at Cambridge United on Saturday.
Murray – a former player at Hartlepool – was announced as Colin Cooper’s replacement on Thursday and will be tasked with reviving the fortunes of the Victoria Park outfit.
The 38-year-old takes over a side who sit second-bottom and have scored just nine goals this season – the worst in the fourth tier of English football.
But Murray, who left his position as first-team coach at Oldham Athletic to join Hartlepool, is excited about the challenge and keen to make an instant impact this weekend.
“[I am] delighted. It’s nice to be back, especially in this managerial capacity,” Murray told the club’s official website.
“It seems like I was their number one candidate. Thoroughly looking forward to getting into it.
“This [being a manager] is what I wanted to be and it’s a great opportunity.
“With the predicament we’re in, we need to keep a clean sheet. I want to pass the ball…I want it nice and solid.
“I want to play some attacking football, for sure, and we’ve got to score goals – there’s no doubt about it.
“I’ve got to give them [players] that lift…I’m enthusiastic. We have got to hit the ground running.”
Cambridge’s form since winning promotion at Wembley last year has been indifferent and manager Richard Money was sent to the stands – alongside Cheltenham Town’s Mark Yates – on Tuesday after they clashed during United’s 2-1 defeat.
That win pushed Cheltenham up to ninth, a good boost ahead of the trip to the sixth-placed Plymouth Argyle.
Leaders Wycombe Wanderers had their advantage cut to just goal difference after a midweek 2-1 loss at Exeter City, making a response important at home to struggling Dagenham and Redbridge.
Luton Town beat Dagenham for their sixth straight league win last time out and next host Northampton Town.
Burton Albion, sandwiched in second between Wycombe and Luton, go to Stevenage, while other sides in the top seven – Bury, Shrewsbury Town and Morecambe – face Southend United, Portsmouth and Exeter City respectively.
Newport County will hope the one-month loan signing of Swansea City defender Curtis Obeng gives them a boost ahead of a home clash against Accrington Stanley.
Rock-bottom Tranmere Rovers visit AFC Wimbledon, while fellow strugglers York City, who have won just once in the league this season, host Mansfield Town.
Elsewhere, Carlisle United meet Oxford United.