HARTLEPOOL United’s new manager will be in place by early next week – with Phil Brown, Craig Short and Colin Cooper among those vying for the position.
That trio were in the crowd at Victoria Park last night to see Pools beaten 2-0 by Tranmere Rovers, a result which extends the winless run to 15 matches.
Chairman Ken Hodcroft and chief executive Russ Green will hold interviews on Tyneside today, although the successful candidate is not expected to be installed until after this weekend’s trip to Yeovil Town, for which caretaker Micky Barron will remain in charge.
Ex-Pools star Brown remains the bookies’ favourite and appears to be a popular choice among supporters.
SportMail revealed last week that he was set to apply for the position vacated following Neale Cooper’s resignation a fortnight ago.
The 53-year-old is the most experienced of those on the shortlist having managed in the Premier League with Hull City, while his most recent posting was with League One Preston North End.
However, there was a market move for 44-year-old Short yesterday when it became apparent he was in the running for the job.
His sole managerial experience in England came with Notts County in 2010 but that lasted just four months.
The former Blackburn Rovers defender had previously been in charge of Ferencvaros in Turkey and is currently involved with the youth set-up at Derby County.
Cooper, meanwhile, is on the coaching staff at former club Middlesbrough but has long since sought an avenue into management.
He has applied for the Pools position before but has never taken full-time charge of a League club, caretaker roles at Boro and Bradford City the extent of his experience to date.
But Pools will not judge candidates solely on the strength of their CV and an impressive interview could yet prove decisive.
It is likely the new boss will be kick off their reign with the visit of Coventry City a week on Saturday before another home fixture against Oldham Athletic three days later.