MICKY Barron believes he is now better placed for the stresses of football management – but he remains reluctant to publicly declare interest in succeeding Neale Cooper.
Pools’ search for a new boss continues today with SportMail understanding that a shortlist has been drawn up and interviews set to take place.
Barron’s name is certain to feature, as are those of Phil Brown, Alan Thompson, Darrell Clarke and Colin Cooper.
Indeed, Brown has now confirmed his application following our story that he was interested.
Pools travel to Chesterfield in the first round of the FA Cup tomorrow and entertain Tranmere Rovers in the league on Wednesday night, a pair of matches for which Barron will remain in charge.
The 37-year-old has handled himself well since taking the reins in the wake of Cooper’s resignation last week, and a much-improved display in the 2-2 draw at Brentford would have done his chances of landing the permanent role no harm at all.
Barron took temporary care of the side 11 months ago following Mick Wadsworth’s exit, but he admits he has learned a lot since that first taste of management.
“I’m enjoying it more this time,” said the former Pools star.
“I was a little bit calmer on Saturday than I was a year before and I hope that rubs off on the players.
“I feel more comfortable and I know exactly what I want to do.
“Last year I was thrown in and it was a bit like being a rabbit in the headlights.
“I’m a year down the line with a lot more experience.
“I’ve definitely learned more the way things have been the past year – I’ve spoken to a lot of people who say that.
“I think those tough times make you stronger and better for it.
“I spoke to Chris Powell at Charlton. He had a bad time when he first took over and told me he learned more during that spell than he did during all of last year when they got promoted.
“But in football as long as you’re getting results you feel confident and believe in yourself.”
Barron, though, is the ultimate diplomat when pressed on his ambitions of becoming the new boss.
“I’ll carry on until told otherwise,” he said.
“Like I said at the weekend, I’ve got a job which I’m happy to do and I’ll carry on doing that and preparing the team for the next match.
“The most important thing for me now is getting the team into the next round of the cup.
“A lot of it is just being positive with the players.
“Whether it’s cup or league – we need wins.”