Hartlepool United manager hunt latest as one name is ruled out of the running to be Matthew Bates' permanent successor

Craig Hignett.
Craig Hignett.

Craig Hignett is NOT being considered by Hartlepool United as the long-term successor to Matthew Bates.

The Mail has learned, that at this stage, Hignett is stepping in purely on a temporary basis and is not thought to be in the running for the post beyond a short caretaker stint.

Former manager Hignett was employed by owner Raj Singh as a director of football following his protracted takeover of the club last season.

Liam Kennedy's Hartlepool United analysis: Hierarchy and fans' fragile confidence in Matthew Bates broken by on and off field failings

And this buffer between the playing staff and those making the decisions at the club is valued very highly by Singh, as well as club president Jeff Stelling.

Hignett’s day-to-day work has impressed Singh also, with his acquisitions in the transfer market on a relatively tight working budget has gained particular praise from the chairman behind the scenes.

What remains to be seen, though, is whether an impressive stint in temporary charge of the team could persuade Hignett, or Singh, that a second bite at the cherry in the Pools dugout is the right course of action.

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Pools confirmed in a series of statements yesterday they would be starting the search for a new manager immediately, with Hignett set to be in the dugout for the weekend visit of Dagenham to the Super 6 Stadium.

Pools have made it clear in the past they are keen to employ a manager who can grow with the club, which would seem to rule out the likes of Phil Brown, Lee Clark and Ronnie Moore.

Although it has not stopped Great Escape boss Moore sticking his oar in.

Raj Singh's revealing comments that may have hinted at Hartlepool managerial change

Replying to a fan who asked if he was looking for a job on Twitter, he said: “Think it’s time to remind people I’m not dead. I’m looking to get back in.”

Blyth Spartans boss Alun Armstrong is likely to again be in the running for the post having ran Bates close in the summer.

Former player Michael Nelson is another who could be considered along with former Sunderland coach Robbie Stockdale and Spennymoor Town’s Jason Ainsley, among others.