Craig Hignett and Sam Collins among the early favourites for Hartlepool United job

Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID
Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID

CRAIG Hignett is the early favourite for the vacant Hartlepool United job following the sacking of Paul Murray.

The former Pools assistant manager left his job as Number 2 to Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough earlier this week and he remains a popular figure at Victoria Park.

Pools’ form slumped last season when he left the club in March to take up the job at the Riverside, with Colin Cooper’s side flirting with relegation in the final weeks of the season.

Hignett has been a regular visitor to The Vic since leaving the club to watch several Boro players who had loan spells at the club and knows the current squad well.

Bookmakers Sky Bet have Hignett as 1/2 favourite for the Pools job.

Player coach Sam Collins, who has been placed in temporary charge at the club, is 5/1 second favourite while former Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws is 6/1.

Laws put himself in the frame for the job last time round following Cooper’s resignation but it is understood he wasn’t interviewed for the job before Murray was appointed.

Other names in the running include Gateshead boss Gary Mills, former Leeds United head coach Dave Hockaday and Paul Cox.

Sky Bet latest odds:

Craig Hignett 1/2

Sam Collins 5/1

Brian Laws 6/1

Paul Cox 10/1

Gary Mills 12/1

Dave Hockaday 14/1

Neil Aspin 16/1

Alan Curbishley 16/1

Russell Wilcox 18/1

Graham Kavanagh 18/1

Paulo Di Canio 20/1

Terry Connor 25/1

Brian McDermott 25/1

Jeff Stelling 500/1