Honesty is the best policy for Craig Harrison’s Hartlepool United. The Pools boss has improved fortunes around Victoria Park since his summer appointment, with the morose outlook of last season now a bad chapter in the club’s history.

While morale was demoralised at the end of the last season, with smiles banished from the club, Harrison’s mantra is a different one.

Players are encouraged to speak, to take responsibility, to be willing and able to help their team-mates out.

There’s no favouritism from the top. Harrison runs a tight and happy ship at the club’s training ground each day. He encourages the players to look after things themselves, to take responsibility for their actions and means.

His office is a hub of information and plans. It’s now a welcoming place with a door always open for the players.

“As a person and as a player I have gone through a lot, despite being 40 last Friday,” he reflected.

“I have been involved in pro football since 15, then had to retire, pull myself up then go through the coaching system. It has always been a case of having to work hard for this or work hard for that. Nothing has come easily to get to where I am now.

“I believe whether you are playing or whether you are not, the best or the worst, young or old, treat everyone the same as a person. That is my standards.

“Individuals require different things but I always try to treat every player as a person, and show them all the same level of respect.

“It is something I said from the day I came to this club.”

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