HARTLEPOOL United are unlikely to unveil their new manager before Saturday’s trip to Chesterfield – despite a flurry of bets which forced bookmakers to suspend the market over the weekend.
SkyBet reported a significant move for former Burnley boss Brian Laws on Saturday and so closed their book on the race to succeed Neale Cooper.
However, it is understood Pools will stick to their normal practice of gathering applications from which they will shortlist for interview.
Laws could well be the man who ends up in the hotseat, although suggestion of his imminent arrival is a little premature.
Pools’ hierarchy expect to have drawn up a list of names by the end of the week, during which period Micky Barron will remain in temporary charge.
Pools’ much-improved display at Brentford has perhaps put Barron right amongst the reckoning.
In the first half alone, Pools fashioned more clear-cut chances than they have done during the entirety of what is now a 13-game winless stretch.
Rolling out a new 4-5-1 system, with Tony Sweeney afforded license to roam in midfield, Barron’s instruction beforehand was clear: “Pass, pass and then try to pass some more”.
And they did. For Pools to have superior possession stats would surely have had the administrator demanding a recount – but it was true.
The script, however, appeared to be taking a familiar course when, following an adventurous start, Evan Horwood gifted possession to the hosts and they launched an incisive break which was climaxed by Paul Hayes’ close-range finish on 11 minutes.
Pools fought back, though. Steve Howard spurned a chance to head on goal when well placed, Ryan Noble slammed a volley into the chest of keeper Simon Moore, and Ritchie Humphreys fired narrowly wide.
Then came the leveller, Sweeney again scampering clear before seeing his cross clip off the heels of the recovering Harlee Dean and into his own net.
Noble saw a near-post header loop over the bar before a volley was parried clear by Moore.
The second period was nowhere near as impressive and the West Londoners regained the lead when Hayes out-jumped Jack Baldwin to head home on 58 minutes.
The second equaliser came with just seconds of normal time remaining, when Horwood’s in-swinging corner was turned into the top corner by the head of defender Tony Craig for another own goal.
Brentford: Moore, Logan, Craig, Dean (Legge 46), Bidwell, Forshaw (Adeyemi 84), Diagouraga, Douglas, Forrester, Donaldson, Hayes (Spencer 82). Subs Not Used: Lee, O’Connor, Barron, Dallas. Booked: Forshaw, Douglas, Diagouraga. Goals: Hayes 11, 58.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Hartley, Horwood, Humphreys (Poole 59), Sweeney, Baldwin, Walton, Murray (Luscombe 77), Noble, Howard. Subs Not Used: McHugh, Collins, Franks, Richards, Holden. Booked: Murray, Noble. Goals: Dean 25 og, Craig 90 og.
Att: 5, 213 Ref: David Phillips (West Sussex).