HARTLEPOOL United will accelerate their normal recruitment process with a managerial appointment expected in the coming days.
SportMail understands the club have already begun interviewing for the position vacated following Thursday’s sacking of John Hughes.
It is thought Carlisle United assistant boss Graham Kavanagh has met with the Pools hierarchy.
However, we believe he is NOT set to take over at Victoria Park.
The former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder had been the early frontrunner for the hotseat but we understand the club will not be pursuing their interest in the Irishman.
Meanwhile, we have been told that Middlesbrough academy coach Colin Cooper is in the running for the role and he has now emerged as the odds-on favourite with bookmakers.
The 46-year-old was considered by the club as successor to Neale Cooper back in November only for Hughes to be appointed in a surprise move.
Another new name in the frame is that of Steve Harper, the Newcastle United goalkeeper.
The former Pools loanee is out of contract at St James’s Park this summer and is set to complete his UEFA A coaching license.
He is said to fancy a crack at management and the Pools position could well appeal to him.
Traditionally – as they did last season - Pools invite applications before drawing up a shortlist and beginning an interview process with chief executive Russ Green and chairman Ken Hodcroft..
It can often take up to three weeks before a new manager is unveiled.
That, however, will not be the case this time around and the club recognise the need to get the new man in place ahead of a critical summer off the pitch.
There remains the issue of out-of-contract senior trio Ritchie Humphreys, Andy Monkhouse and Sam Collins.
Discussions over new deals were expected this week but the outcome of those talks could yet depend on the identity of the new boss.