Former Bristol Rovers, Bristol City and Man City man sacked by League Two club

Curle has never managed either Bristol club - despite playing for both teams and being from the city
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Former Bristol City and Bristol Rovers defender Keith Curle has been relieved of his duties as first-team manager of Hartlepool United.

Curle was appointed as interim manager in September, suceeding former Robins midfielder Paul Hartley, earning a two-year contract in December after an upturn in form. Two months on however and Curle finds himself out of work with the Pools seeking a new manager for the remaining 13 games left of the League Two season.

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Hartlepool sufered a late defeat to relegation rivals Newport County, and are just a point above the relegation zone, with four more games played than second-from-bottom Crawley Town. Hartlepool under Curle's tenure won eight of the 29 games they had in charge, but now the club are seeking a fresh voice to try and stave off the threat of falling out of the Football League.

"This has been one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make at Pools" admitted chairman Raj Singh. Keith and Colin in so many ways have improved the football club and our culture.

"They are both consummate professionals and they have genuinely been a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately we have just not seen the required results and I feel we must act now to give the club a chance in the final part of the season."

Curle, born in Bristol, first turned out for the blue half of the city, making 32 appearances over two seasons, before joining Torquay United, but he returned four months later, joining Bristol City helping them win promotion in the 1984 campaign. He amassed over 125 appearances for the club, and later turned out for Manchester City, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in his career.

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His sacking leaves former Rovers striker Leon Clarke having to impress a new manager, just a week after he signed a short-term deal with Hartlepool. Clarke, who had a trial with Scottish Championship side Arbroath, joined Hartlepool eight months after his release from Rovers in May. The 38-year-old has made two substitute appearances so far for his new club, and will now have to persuade the newly-appointed manager that he can offer something to the side.

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