The Monkey Hangers only appointed Lee at the beginning of December to replace Stockport County-bound Dave Challinor, the man who had secured promotion back to the EFL for the club earlier in 2021.
Lee was previously managing Middlesbrough’s under-23’s before he was snapped up by the Poolies, and he was able to guide the club into the semi-final of the EFL Trophy, where they lost out on penalties to Rotherham United.
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An FA Cup run to the fourth round also occurred under Lee, who masterminded victories over Lincoln City and Blackpool before they were eliminated by Crystal Palace of the Premier League, but results in League Two weren’t as impressive.
Despite Lee only losing two of his first 13 games in the fourth tier of English football, Hartlepool’s form spiralled rapidly and with no win in the last eight matches, club chairman Raj Singh has decided to dispose of the 43-year-old’s services before the final game of the season against Colchester United this weekend.
On the face of it, this appears to be a pretty harsh decision.
Lee has only been in charge for the best part of five months and whilst the results haven’t gone well at all recently, Hartlepool were never going to get relegated back to the National League.
He could have been given more time and a pre-season to see if things change and to get a squad together capable of finishing in the top half of League Two, but Lee will not be afforded that time.
It may be a decision that Singh comes to regret though, especially as the club had more-than consolidated themselves back in League Two before the results started to go awry.