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Hartlepool quickly appoint interim manager as details emerge on sacking decision

Hartlepool United quickly appoint Keith Curle as their new interim manager as details emerge on the Paul Hartley sacking decision.

Hartley, 45, departed on Sunday after the Pools failed to win any of their nine League Two games this season, leaving Hartlepool second from bottom of the table after four draws and five defeats.

Curle, 58, has 20 years of management experience and won promotion from League Two via the playoffs with Northampton in 2020.

His last job was at Oldham Athletic but was axed in November after eight months.

Antony Sweeney will lead the club into Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy contest with Morecambe, with Curle expected to take the reins on Wednesday.


Hartlepool United can today confirm the appointment of Keith Curle as Interim Manager.

Keith had a playing career that saw him make over 700 appearances with the likes of Manchester City, Wolves, Sheffield United and Wimbledon, as well as being capped for England at the 1992 European Championships.

He began his managerial career in 2002 and has since amassed over 600 games as a Manager. He has vast experience of EFL League Two, winning promotion via the play-offs at Wembley with Northampton Town in 2020.

The highly experienced manager will be joined at the club by his assistant Colin West, a former Sunderland, Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and Hartlepool United player.

Additionally, highly regarded loyal club servant Antony Sweeney will re-join the first-team staff in a coaching capacity.

Keith is currently travelling back from abroad and will likely join the team on Wednesday. Tony Sweeney will take the team for training tomorrow and Tuesday’s Football League Trophy game against Morecambe FC.

Chairman Raj Singh commented: “We fully recognise the need to act decisively and quickly given our position. Keith has a lot of experience and know how at this level, including turnarounds and achieving promotion into League 1 with a side just two years ago.

“He has a profile that we believe is needed at this time to immediately step in, sure things up and start moving the team forward again.

“He has already spoken to Tony Sweeney today, who has previously done caretaker duties, to ask him to re-join the 1st team coaching staff and alongside Colin they will hit the ground running this week.”

The club’s rationale for relieving Paul Hartley of his duties as manager has been down to a combination of results on the pitch and growing rifts between certain camps within the club.

However, according to The Northern Echo, tensions have grown behind the scenes within the club between Hartley and club staff, with it suggested those tensions intensified by Hartley’s general conduct, played a role in the club’s decision to sack the former Hearts midfielder alongside the club’s current position in the League Two standings.

Since his appointment, Hartley hoped to stamp his authority on the team but has failed to strike the right chord with his players.

When questioned about how the club would turn their form around after the 2-0 loss at Sutton United, Hartley told HUFC TV: “You’ve got to try and win matches. That helps. We’ve got to have a bit more about us. A bit more steel. We are too easy to play against.”

Fans gave their thoughts as Hartlepool United quickly appoint an interim manager as details emerge on the Paul Hartley sacking decision…

@adam_garrington: What the heck.

@Mogzy1985: That was fast.

@_WrightL11: He’ll get results i know that

@oafcnipo: I’m so sorry

@johnterry1986: Happy Sweens is back as a first team coach. Let’s get behind them and the team. Come on lads. Welcome Curle and the legend Colin west. #UTP 🔵⚪️

@leck_rob: I feel that Keith and Colin have the experience we need and I hope sincerely that this works out for all us. All the best lads

@aghdidim: Very quick and decisive welcome to the club Keith let’s get this season started PTID

@Coops_Colin: Hahahahahaha how does he keep getting football jobs? 😂

@12BBYTHESEASIDE: Good luck 💙🤍 sounds like Anthony Sweeney needs an apology.

@LukeThoday: You’ll survive but strap in for the most boring and unappealing football you’ll ever see. Honestly still have a stiff neck for how much I had to look up because the ball was in the air. Great bloke and hard working, steady at the ship but that’s about it

@D91997368: Glad to see sweeney back 🔵⚪️🔵⚪️

@kieranmasters21: Relegation for you 🤣🤣🤣

@Jordanator83: Oooooohh… might want to buy a neck brace for the amount of long balls incoming

@DanielHustler6: Welcome chaps! Sweens should never of been shut out like that! Now go and do what you do best lads!

@Garymor00717581: How does he keep getting jobs? Feeling for you guys at Hartlepool… boring, negative, long ball rubbish. You deserve better.

@bangintrouble: Isn’t it amazing how the usual suspects, the same old failures, get yer another job. 2 year contract and down the road, with club in the pisshole, 15 months later. Hartlepool just sacked 1 serial loser to replace with another!

@loud_MM91: Streets will never forget his 3-6-1 formation with a striker at right wing back and a winger up front

@RyanPayne3: Sweens 💙 that’s the passion we need to get us out this mess ! UTP

@durhamchris1983: Now get rid of a few more who have failed at the club. good luck to the new manager

@talla6354: Good luck dont know who some of the fans were expecting time to back him #NSD

@MarkReeve85: Welcome Keith 🔵⚪️ already got one up on Hartley by simply bringing Sweens back into the fold. Let’s go

@AaronDoesYT: Basically expect playing the entire quad at wing back and hoof ball to a big striker, will do a job at keeping you stable and finishing upper middle table after keeping you up though probably

@miller_jonny: Fair play for acting quickly! Will reserve my judgement until he’s had a chance. Being interim makes total sense and will hopefully give us chance to create an actual football strategy 🤞🏻

@ChrisSteward24: How many jobs in football has Keith Curle had and how many times has he been successful? The merry-go-round of failed managers is spectacular and demonstrates the failure of football to move forward and try new things. Just because you’ve been a pro doesn’t mean you can manage!

@MickyBurns14: Welcome Keith.. I hope you can restore some pride and some unity back into our club,but more importantly get us the wins we need to stop us going back into THAT league ..I’m sure with sweens alongside you ,you will succeed ..good luck mate UTP

@Danthom03: All these Carlisle and Oldham fans saying ‘all he will do is help you survive and get you to mid-table’… lads, we would kill for that at the moment! Welcome aboard Keith.

@DarrenRickerby: Much better appointment, and welcome back sweens. God knows what that clown was doing freezing him out.

@wanchop33: One of hartleys biggest mistakes

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