HARTLEPOOL United will have a new manager in the dugout for Saturday’s visit of relegation rivals Coventry City – with Phil Brown favourite for a return to Victoria Park.
The 53-year-old was interviewed last Thursday having the previous night taken in Pools’ 2-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers.
However, it is understood that Middlesbrough coach Colin Cooper, Livingston manager John Hughes and former Notts County boss Craig Short also went before chairman Ken Hodcroft and chief executive Russ Green.
The need for a new man to be installed by this weekend was heightened following Saturday’s defeat at Yeovil Town, which leaves Pools nine points from safety and six adrift of second bottom Shrewsbury Town.
The Pools hierarchy are set to make their decision on who will replace Neale Cooper and an announcement is imminent.
The new boss will be presented with a home double header to kick off their reign, the weekend clash with the Sky Blues followed by Oldham Athletic’s visit three days later.
Micky Barron was in charge of his fourth match as caretaker at Huish Park on Saturday, and the 37-year-old says he is in the dark as to the events of forthcoming days.
There were signs of life at Yeovil, albeit fleeting ones.
In a poor first half showing, the home side struck after just seven minutes when Sam Foley was afforded the freedom of the left flank to sweep a cross on to the boot of Joe Edwards and he prodded home at the near post.
Then on, until the break at least, Pools plodded through the motions of another inevitable loss, passes strayed, tackles lost and shots non-existent.
The second half, though, bore no resemblance to that sorry showing.
James Poole at last unearthed a performance of purpose and vigour. Antony Sweeney dragged the home rearguard from flag to flag and post to post, not allowing them a moment’s rest.
Steve Howard, previously static, caused problems of his own.
Yeovil were panicked. Indeed, they barely made it out of their own half.
Poole went close with a pair of raspers from range, as did Simon Walton. Sweeney was denied a second headed goal in a week by the gloves of Marek Stech, while a penalty claim following a blatant handball was waved away.
But still, Pools could not force a goal.
Maybe a new boss can bring a change of luck.
Yeovil: Stech, Ayling, Webster, Burn, McAllister, Edwards, Johnson, Smith, Foley (Reid 79), Hayter (Marsh-Brown 64), Madden. Subs Not Used: Stewart, Hinds, Williams, Haynes-Brown. Booked: McAllister. Goals: Edwards 7.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Richards, Hartley, Collins, Austin, Walton, Sweeney, Murray (Luscombe 86), Franks (Wyke 81), Poole, Howard. Subs Not Used: McHugh, Humphreys, Horwood, Baldwin, Holden. Booked: Sweeney, Howard, Austin.
Att: 3, 095 Ref: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).