EXCLUSIVE: Hartlepool chairman Ken Hodcroft on search for new manager

Colin Cooper during the game against Carlisle United. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper during the game against Carlisle United. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United chairman Ken Hodcroft says there won’t be a knee-jerk reaction to replacing Colin Cooper after his dramatic resignation.

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at home to rivals Carlisle United saw Pools go bottom of the Football League and it was the final straw for many supporters who loudly jeered Cooper.

Within minutes of the final whistle he had handed his notice in and while his departure may not come as a shock, the timing of it did.

Focus has now turned on who will be the next manager to take his place in the Pools dugout, with the side bottom of League Two with just eight points from 11 matches.

In an exclusive interview after the match, Hodcroft told SportMail the club will be sticking to its preferred recruitment process.

That though could take weeks if previous experience is anything to go by.

Hodcroft, who thanked Cooper for his service, told SportMail: “We have a policy for recruiting.

“It is a little different if you decide to get rid of somebody, you can have plans.

“But we don’t have plans because Colin has resigned.

“We weren’t ready for it as a club.

“It is a personal decision but all we can do is wish him the best for the future and now start planning for the future.

“But it is early days.”

The chairman has called on everyone connected with the club to try and remain “positive” but added the players have to look at themselves and question whether they have been giving their all in recent weeks.

Hodcroft added: “We have to be positive, of course.

“Football is like that, you are at the top, the middle or the bottom.

“We are now starting a new chapter and we are starting at the bottom of the league.

“We have to be very positive and work towards getting away from the bottom in the first instance and then try and build on that.

“At the end of the day, with the manager leaving, we have to try and help everybody that is left including the players.

“The players themselves have to look at the situation though and think have they done the best they could have done for the manager?

“Perhaps everybody who played in the team has to look at their performance on Saturday and over the past few weeks and decide are they really giving 100 per cent for the club - because look at the table.

“The manager has gone now.”

While fans were calling for Cooper to go after Carlisle took the lead, fans were also left voicing their anger and frustration towards the clubs owners IOR over a perceived lack of investment.

Hodcroft said he has no problem with people expressing their opinions.

But the chairman again stressed in his programme notes that the money from the sales of Jack Baldwin and Luke James wasn’t a lump sum but was coming in instalments over 18-months.

He did add though that work was going on to bring in new players but stressed the club also needed to increase its external income.

Hodcroft added: “Whether the fans calling for him out caused Colin to quit, I don’t know.

“It is a shame.

“People are human, they are doing their best.”