Antony Sweeney to take temporary charge of Hartlepool United as manager search gets underway following Craig Hignett sacking

Hartlepool United first team coach Antony Sweeney will take caretaker charge while the club decides on Craig Hignett’s replacement.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 6:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 7:21 pm
Hartlepool United caretaker manager Antony Sweeney.

The Pools legend made around 400 appearances for the club between 2001 and 2014 before returning as a coach in 2016.

Hignett was dismissed alongside assistant Ged McNamee on Thursday following a 2-1 defeat at Stockport County with Sweeney later confirmed as caretaker.

Saturday’s match at Aldershot Town will be the 36-year-old’s first senior game as manager as he’ll be tasked with helping Pools get back to winning ways following a run of one victory in seven.

Pools will be hoping to have a permanent manager in place for the Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round match against National League North side Brackley Town at Victoria Park on Saturday, October 19.

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The match could prove to be something of a baptism of fire for the next United manager as the importance of a positive cup run is significant given the amount of money that has been invested at the club since Raj Singh’s takeover in 2018.

Singh, alongside managing director Mark Maguire will now conduct the hunt for the club’s next manager.

There are no clear front runners as it stands though former Hartlepool forward and current Rotherham United assistant Richie Barker as well as ex-Darlington and York City boss Martin Gray are rumoured to be in contention.

Current York City manager Steve Watson has been a candidate before while Darlington boss Alun Armstrong has also come very close to being appointed previously – could Pools reignite their interest?