Former Hearts hero sacked after just nine league games in charge of EFL club

Former Hearts ace Paul Hartley was sacked by Hartlepool United at the weekend after just nine games in charge.

The former Dundee boss, who enjoyed success with Cove Rangers prior to his departure this past summer, failed to win any of those games after reshaping the squad in his image.

Saturday's 2-0 loss at Sutton left the club 23rd in the table, just two points above bottom side Rochdale. They drew four and lost five of Hartley’s games in League Two.

Former Manchester City defender Keith Curle has been appointed as interim manager. Curle has 20 years of management experience, taking charge of over 600 games, and he won promotion from League Two via the play-offs with Northampton in 2020.

Paul Hartley during a pre-season friendly match between Hibs and Hartlepool United this summer. Picture: SNS

Pools chairman Raj Singh said: "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 One with a side just two years ago.

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

Hartley was a popular player at Tynecastle after signing in the summer of 2003. He scored regularly from midfield, most notably against former club Hibs, including a hat-trick in the 2006 Scottish Cup semi-final.

A cup winner that season, despite a red card in the final against Gretna, he moved on to boyhood heroes Celtic the following year.

Hartley was interviewed for the Hearts job following the sacking of Ian Cathro in 2017 but was ultimately unsuccessful.

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