FORMER Sheffield Wednesday boss Brian Laws is one of the leading contenders for the vacant managerial position at Hartlepool United.
Pools chairman Ken Hodcroft will today assess all of the applications for the post, including that of Laws.
The 51-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by Championship club Burnley 12 months ago.
He was previously in charge of Wednesday between 2006 and 2009 and enjoyed two stints as the boss of Scunthorpe United.
Indeed, with pressure mounting on current Iron boss Alan Knill, Laws could well be interested in a second return to Glanford Park should that position become available.
But we understand the Newcastle-born former Nottingham Forest star has applied for the Pools job and should feature on the club’s shortlist given his experience and knowledge of the region.
Another with North East connections who is thought to be interested is former Newcastle striker Mark McGhee.
He was axed by Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen just over a year ago and the 54-year-old is said to be keen on a return to England.
Former Pools boss Neale Cooper continues to head the betting market with ex-Darlington chief Dave Penney second favourite.
Meanwhile, Micky Barron, another who will almost certainly be interviewed for the role, continues to take charge of first-team affairs today.
His first home game in charge against Colchester at the weekend ended with an eighth defeat on the spin at Victoria Park.
It was another 1-0 defeat – the fourth in a row – and an extension of a sterile stretch in front of goal, for it’s now 12 hours 16 minutes at the Vic with just a solitary home strike, and even that was a consolation penalty.
Confidence is so low. Working themselves into positions of apparent danger, Pools snatched at shots, scuffed their crosses or simply chose the wrong option at crucial times.
And once Anthony Wordsworth broke the deadlock on 36 minutes – scrambling home from close range after keeper Scott Flinders had saved his initial effort – there was a biting air of inevitability about the impending outcome.
The game brought the debuts of teenage duo Jack Baldwin (18) and Luke James (17).
Baldwin, who doesn’t turn 19 until next summer, was Pools’ best player, while James also caught the eye – his energy in stark contrast to the lethargy of James Brown, who he replaced at the interval.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Liddle, Horwood, Sweeney, Murray (Solano 73), Baldwin, Brown (James 46), Monkhouse, Poole (Boyd 74). Subs Not Used: Humphreys, Haslam. Booked: Baldwin.
Colchester: Ben Williams, Wilson, Okuonghae, Heath, Rose, James (Izzet 62), Wordsworth, Bond, Duguid, Odejayi, Henderson. Subs Not Used: O’Toole, Gillespie, Eastman, Coker. Booked: Okuonghae, Wilson, Wordsworth. Goals: Wordsworth 36.
Att: 4, 029 Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).