Chairwoman Pam Duxbury hopes to have a new Hartlepool United manager in place by the end of next week

Hartlepool United chief executive Pam Duxbury.
Hartlepool United chief executive Pam Duxbury.

Chairwoman Pam Duxbury hopes to have a new Hartlepool United manager in place by the end of next week.

Relegated Pools have begun the process of finding a permanent replacement for Dave Jones, who was sacked last month after a dreadful run of results and performances.

Previous chairman Gary Coxall had placed senior players Matthew Bates and Billy Paynter in temporary charge for the final two games, assisted by Stuart Parnaby and Ian Gallagher.

Bates is one of the front-runners for the vacant post, rated at 3-1 by the bookmakers.

North-East born former Middlesbrough defender Craig Harrison leads the betting odds at 15-8,

The 38-year-old has dominated the Welsh Premier League with The New Saints for the last six years but wants to break into the English game.

Marcus Bignot is the second favourite at 2-1 and is currently out of work following his departure from Grimsby Town.

Former Pools midfielder Tommy Widdrington and ex-Tranmere boss Gary Brabin have both emerged as contenders too.

Both have extensive experience at National League level, Brabin having taken Rovers to sixth place in their first season in the division following relegation and Widdrington managing at Salisbury City and Eastbourne Borough.

Duxbury addressed Pools fans in a statement published on the club’s website.

“We can’t hide from the fact that the 2016-17 season has been a massive disappointment,” said the chief executive.

“But the intensity of your support at the weekend makes us all even more determined going forward.

“From a club point of view, it has to be business as usual because there is so much to get through during the closed season and the planning for 2017-18 has already started.

“Obviously, our biggest priority at the current time is to appoint a new manager in order to give us the best chance of moving ahead with summer recruitment and plans for the new campaign.

“It’s crucial that we get this appointment right, but we recognise the need to move swiftly and we would expect to be in a position to make a further announcement by the end of next week.

“Many thanks once again for your loyal support.”

Duxbury will not be short of applicants.

Ex-Barnet boss Martin Allen and sacked Newport manager Graham Westley feature in the bookies list at 16-1, with former Championship managers Kenny Jackett, Dougie Freedman, Paul Ince and Owen Coyle on 25-1.

But, with Football League managerial opportunities now so regularly available, it is hard to see any bosses who have managed just below the Premier League going out of the top four divisions.

As Duxbury says, making a quick appointment is crucial, but getting it right is even more vital, hence perhaps “next week” being mentioned.