Antony Sweeney believes any potential new Hartlepool United manager will know the players need a lift following Port Vale defeat

Could this be the week Hartlepool United finally see some movement on the managerial front?

Monday, 29th November 2021, 6:00 am

It’s been a November to forget for Pools following Dave Challinor’s decision to move away from the Suit Direct Stadium for Stockport County.

Pools have endured four straight defeats in League Two since Challinor’s departure as Antony Sweeney has been tasked with steadying the ship and buying the club time.

But following defeat at Port Vale on Saturday, the consensus from most seems to be that Sweeney doesn’t have much more time to give the club before a concerning run of form transcends into outright panic.

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Any potential new manager will have seen Hartlepool lose on their travels at Port Vale. (Credit: James Holyoak | MI News)

Sweeney himself has insisted on numerous occasions how the club needs the stability of a permanent manager both on and off the field, but just what is a potential new manager walking into at the Suit Direct Stadium? What could any potential new manager have taken from Saturday’s defeat at Port Vale which saw Pools drop to 17th in the League Two table?

“It’s a good question,” Sweeney told The Mail.

“He probably takes that there’s a group of players there who need a lift. He probably takes that there’s a lot to work on.

“But I’m pretty sure whoever has applied for the job, they’ll have an idea and will have done their research on the players and know the characteristics of the players we’ve got here.

“They’ll know the areas that they need to strengthen and will probably have an idea who would come in and strengthen those areas.

“He might have seen something new, he might have seen something that he already knew, or reconfirmed where he wants to head with the direction he wants to take the football club.”

There can be no denying that the delay in appointing a new manager has impacted results on the field in recent weeks.

Pools have gone from play-off contenders to the bottom half of the table in a matter of weeks having also lost a little bit of their mystique at the Suit Direct Stadium after losing back-to-back games on home soil for the first time in a year.

And while Sweeney has rallied the squad and kept spirits high within the camp, there is only so long that can continue before concerns grow among the players who will undoubtedly start to think about their futures.

“It’s human nature that you want to know what the future holds for you. That will never change in football,” Sweeney explained.

“In the short-term measures we can do better and I’m not using it as an excuse. But human nature for the players is they’ll always be thinking about who’s next? Who’s going to be the one that’s going to make a decision on my career? Who’s going to be the one that decides whether I get an extension on my contract or whether I’m playing?

“There’s a certain amount of time where they’ll accept that little bit of a transition period but that’s still in the back of their minds and the longer that goes on that just naturally festers a little bit more.

“Whoever comes in will probably get a lift from the players just through them knowing that this is the man who’s going to be here for the mid to long-term.”

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