Paul sets out City survival formula

DAVID CUFFLEY Paul Stephenson has put the untidy nature of his move to Norwich City behind him as he prepares for his first home match in the dug-out.Hartlepool United finally confirmed yesterday that their youth team coach had been released to take up his role as first team coach at Carrow Road, but not without a parting shot at the way the Canaries do business.

DAVID CUFFLEY

Paul Stephenson has put the untidy nature of his move to Norwich City behind him as he prepares for his first home match in the dug-out.

Hartlepool United finally confirmed yesterday that their youth team coach had been released to take up his role as first team coach at Carrow Road, but not without a parting shot at the way the Canaries do business.

Stephenson was part of City's touchline team at Blackpool and Stoke - and manager Glenn Roeder said before the weekend that the move was done and dusted.


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“There are still one or two little things that need to get brushed up and sorted, but hopefully the two clubs can sort them in the next couple of days and we can crack on with the job in hand, which is getting up that table,” said Stephenson.

“I have still been getting my teeth into the job anyway. It's been great taking the players. It's a good level of player to take and obviously a step up from what I've been doing, but it's a great challenge for me to really push these lads and get them up to the standard that we require to get them up the table. It is a tough job, but we have to make sure we really push for high standards all the time.

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“I had a sniff of management with Hartlepool - obviously it was really difficult circumstances, but it gave me a look inside into what it is all about and I really enjoyed my time there.”

Stephenson has rejoined old allies in Roeder and assistant boss Lee Clark.

He said: “I've known Glenn for a long time and I've known Lee since we were kids. I think I played against Lee when he was seven and I was 10. We go back a long way.

“I think it does help. You are either a fun person or not - I know Lee and Glenn are and I certainly am, but it is not just about fun, it's about high standards as well. We are trying to instil all that.

“It's like anybody who goes to their job - if they enjoy their job they are going to do it better and that is what we are trying to get that emphasis on to the players.

“We know that we have got to probably add a few more in January, but we know we have got the lads bubbling again and we have to keep them on the boil. Obviously it was a disappointment on Saturday to lose so late, but we're going to put that behind us.

“We have got to look forward, we can't look behind. We have to make sure we look forward to the next game.

“We have said if we can win two out of every three games or pick up five points from nine, every three, we've got a chance of moving up the table so that's what we have to do. That's the requirement to start moving in the right direction.”

Hartlepool chairman Ken Hodcroft said: “The move has not gone as smoothly as both parties would have liked, but Norwich refused to accept that Paul had a contract with a long notice period with this club.

“Due legal process dictates that such notice period has to be adhered to or negotiated. Once Norwich realised that Hartlepool United FC just don't give up their assets for nothing they entered into discussions with the club.

“The position has now been resolved to everyone's satisfaction and we certainly wish Paul every success for the future.”

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