Cooper is favourite for Hartlepool United job

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HARTLEPOOL United will accelerate their normal recruitment process with a managerial appointment expected in the coming days, writes Craig Hope.

The club has already begun interviewing for the position vacated following Thursday’s sacking of John Hughes.

It is thought Carlisle United assistant boss Graham Kavanagh has met with the Pools hierarchy.

However, I believe he is NOT set to take over at Victoria Park.

The former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder had been the early front-runner for the hotseat but it seems the club will not be pursuing their interest in the Irishman.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough academy coach Colin Cooper is in the running for the role and he has now emerged as the odds-on favourite with bookmakers.

The 46-year-old was considered by the club as successor to Neale Cooper back in November only for Hughes to be appointed in a surprise move.

Traditionally – as they did last season – Pools invite applications before drawing up a shortlist and beginning an interview process with chief executive Russ Green and chairman Ken Hodcroft. It can often take up to three weeks before a new manager is unveiled.

That, however, will not be the case this time around and the club recognise the need to get the new man in place ahead of a critical summer off the pitch.