Who are the runners and riders for the top job at Hartlepool United?

Dave Jones is one of the front runners for the Hartlepool United job
Dave Jones is one of the front runners for the Hartlepool United job

Applications for Hartlepool United’s managerial vacancy have been flooding into the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

CVs have been sent by out-of-work Scottish Premiership bosses, from abroad as well as a lot closer to home.

Former internationals, already employed managers, coaches with bags load of experience as well as ones looking to make the first steps into the managerial game – Pools have had notice of interest from all level of applicants.

But who is in the running for the job?

Here we take a look at some of the runners and riders.

l Dave Jones

Out of work since 2013, but in terms of experience Jones would fit the bill perfectly at the Vic.

Jones has been desperate to get back into work in recent months, and is rumoured to be keen on the Pools job.

Started his managerial career at Stockport in the mid 1990s, guiding them to promotion to the old First Division, as well as a Coca Cola Cup semi-final defeat to Middlesbrough.

A spell at top-flight Southampton then followed before Wolverhampton Wanderers and Championship Sheffield Wednesday, where he was sacked three years ago.

l Alex Rae

The 47-year-old has been out of work since leaving St Mirren last year, but is understood to be keen to come down for a crack at English football.

The former Sunderland man, who spent five years on Wearside between 1996 and 2001, started his managerial career at Dundee before becoming assistant to Paul Ince at MK Dons.

He followed the former England international to Notts County then Blackpool before being named assistant to Alex McLeish at Genk in Belgium.

l Steve Harper

A candidate with no managerial experience, much like Hignett, prior to being given the top job.

As a result he could be a risk, but his knowledge of North East football is second to none and has built up contacts at Newcastle and Sunderland, where Pools often look for players, during a distinguished playing career between the sticks.

Current Pools keeper coach Tony Caig worked with Harper under Bobby Robson at St James’s Park, as both men were understudy to Shay Given.

Did apply for the job back in February 2016.

Currently coaching the Magpies’ academy goalkeepers.

l Sam Collins

Very unlikely to be handed the reins on a permanent basis, but is currently taking care of first-team duties.

Coxall moved quickly to appoint Hignett last time, who was already part of the coaching staff.

It’s understood a similar move with Collins is unlikely.

Although, if the situation drags out, which is not what the club want to happen, the likelihood of Collins, who is well thought of at Pools, getting the job increases.

He might be just 11/2, but I would not be banging your weekly wage on him taking over.

l Ronnie Moore

Bit of a left field one this, but the bookies have him priced at 25/1 due to the fact he is out of work after leaving Eastleigh.

Given Coxall sacked him last time, would seem a non-starter.

Although, prior to getting the sack at the fifth tier outfit, Moore was keen to take Pools club captain Billy Paynter, as well as supposedly considering then out-of-favour Michael Woods.

So, he definitely has fans within the senior playing squad which would work in his favour.

l Ritchie Humphreys

Pools legend Humphreys has been looking after the first-team at Chesterfield in recent weeks after the sacking of former Pools boss Danny Wilson.

But with ex-Middlesbrough and Celtic boss Tony Mowbray now at the helm, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Humphreys, who is still registered as a player at the club.

Did go on the record and state that he had no intention of taking the League Outfit’s top job,n but could another spell at Pools, where he is a hero, tempt him to change his mind? Who knows.

Priced at 14/1 for the job.

l The others

Making up the list of Pools hopefuls are the likes of Neil Redfearn, Dean Saunders, Alan Stubbs, Steve Cotterill, Micky Adams, David Flitcroft, Mark Robins, Rob Page and Wilson.

All are out of work, which is one of the key criteria for the next manager, but many of them tend to get linked with every job going.

Doesn’t say Coxall won’t turn to them, or any others who are not on the current list.

Former Everton defender Stubbs is on the lookout for work after a tough spell in charge of Championship Rotherham United.

But having ending a wait of more than 100 years for silverware at Hibernian, by winning the Scottish Cup last May, Stubbs may well fancy a move back north of the border.

It is unlikely he will want to drop down to the bottom tier of English football just yet.

Much-travelled Redfearn seems to be the favourite for every job that comes up in the bottom two tiers of the Football League, so it is no surprise he has rocked up high on Pools list.

Redfearn has failed as a manager at Leeds United and Rotherham in recent years.

And as for the rest, Saunders has been doing media work, ex-SAFC man Cotterill has not managed for a year after a rough deal at Bristol City while ex-Fulham manager Adams has not been in the management game after leaving Sligo Rovers in Ireland in 2015.

The most outlandish name linked to the job, apart from Nick Loughlin of the Northern Echo, who was 100/1 at one point, is Newcastle United legend Kevin Keegan.

Sky Bet have him priced at just 50/1 to take the job at the Vic and return to management for the first time since his exit from St James’s Park under Mike Ashley.