HARTLEPOOL United officials say they are wading through the “vast” number of applicants wanting to be the next manager.
Pools have been without a manager since Colin Cooper resigned at the start of October following a heavy home defeat to Carlisle United.
Player-coach Sam Collins has been in temporary charge of first team affairs ever since.
The lengthy time to appoint a new boss, with no timescale set, has left some fans feeling frustrated but officials say they are carefully considering all the applicants.
Writing in the match day programme, chief executive Russ Green said: “We know that the next appointment will probably be one of the biggest decisions the club has ever made so we are ensuring that every angle is covered in our decision.
“We have had a vast number of applicants for the job but our appointment must have the knowledge of this league and the ambition to move us forward,” added Green who thanked Cooper for his efforts at the club.
Former Carlisle United boss Graham Kavanagh and Collins remain the bookies favourites.
Brian Laws has also stated he is up for the “challenge” while Gateshead boss Gary Mills is also in contention.
Chairman Ken Hodcroft – who also used his programme notes to once again hit out at Hartlepool Borough Council over the future of the Victoria Park ground – said the candidates will be “carefully considered”.
Hodcroft added: “As we continue the search for a new manager – and everyone who has applied and has the necessary qualifications and experience – will be carefully considered and those of interest will be put on a short list to be further reviewed.”
The chairman also reiterated that it was Cooper’s decision to stand down.
Hodcroft added: “It was Colin’s decision and his record, for whatever reason, of 16 wins, 13 draws and 28 defeats from 57 league games during his 16-months in charge would give any manager food for thought.
“However, despite what is reported, Colin did make the decisions to release players last summer, recruit his players into the club and have faith in the dressing room.
“He had our full support in those decisions and the decisions when to sell players.
“He was fully aware of the financial constraints and the payment structure dictated by Peterborough regarding the income from the sale of [Jack] Baldwin and [Luke] James.”
The chairman went on to say that Cooper had to work within all that plus the salary capping rules which are “very tough” when income into the club is at a “premium”.
Tellingly, Hodcroft added: “Eight points from 33 in League Two this season that Colin and his players secured have left the club in its current league position.
“No doubt managerial change would have had to come eventually if there was no sign of improvement and if new players continued to fail to be identified or players within the squad not given the chance.”
Collins has given the young fringe players a chance since Cooper’s departure, something Hodcroft said he wanted to see happen.
– RICHARD MENNEAR