Former Sunderland midfielder a contender in Hartlepool managerial race

Will Alex Rae be the man to get the Hartlepool United manager's role.
Will Alex Rae be the man to get the Hartlepool United manager's role.

Former Sunderland midfielder Alex Rae is a contender to replace Craig Hignett as Hartlepool United boss.

On Sunday former Middlesbrough assistant Hignett left the club by mutual consent after a difficult run of results which has seen Pools slide to within four points of the dreaded League Two dropzone.

Having tasted life in English football under Ince, it is understood Rae is keen to dip his toe back into life down south, this time as number one

As a result it left chairman Gary Coxall with absolutely no option but to bin the likeable Scouser in the aftermath of the weekend loss at Crawley Town, in which Pools managed to register just one shot on target.

Coxall has not been short of options since making the call to cancel Hignett’s contract by mutual consent.

The Northern Gas & Power Stadium inbox has been buzzing with a number of applications from far and wide, with scores of out-of-work managers, as well as some currently with jobs, apply for the Pools role.

And one coach who has put his hat in the ring, alongside the likes of Dave Jones and Steve Harper, is former Black Cats man Rae.

The 47-year-old has been out of work since leaving St Mirren earlier this season.

He has previously been manager of Scottish top flight side Dundee, as well as working as a number two under Paul Ince at MK Dons, Notts County and Blackpool.

His most recent coaching role before a return to management in Paisley, was as assistant manager to former Scotland boss Alex McLeish at Belgian outfit Genk.

And having tasted life in English football under Ince, it is understood Rae, who was at Sunderland for five years in the late 1990s, is keen to dip his toe back into life down south, this time as a number one.

Meanwhile, the club are still in the process of working out a severance package with departed boss Hignett.

The terms of Higentt’s deal remained undisclosed at the time of signing, but it is believed he was contracted to at least the end of the present season.

While Hignett may not get the full amount he was due to the end of the deal, he is likely to get much of the amount he is owed.