Salisbury boss Darrell Clarke flattered to be linked with Hartlepool United

THE GOOD OLD DAYS: Darrell Clarke celebrates scoring for Pools at Darlington
THE GOOD OLD DAYS: Darrell Clarke celebrates scoring for Pools at Darlington

FORMER Hartlepool United favourite Darrell Clarke admits he is “flattered” to be leading the betting market in the race to succeed Neale Cooper.

The 34-year-old is now at the helm of Conference South side Salisbury City having last season masterminded a promotion campaign.

Clarke is currently the 3/1 favourite to be installed as the next boss at Victoria Park, where he was a terrace idol between 2001 and 2007.

And the affable Midlander spoke to SportMail today regarding the vacant position at his old club.

“I had a brilliant six years there,” said Clarke, whose Salisbury side are currently top of the league and headed for the Conference.

“And it’s flattering to be linked with going back as manager because I still have a great affection for the club.

“I look at the situation they’re in now and it’s not nice to see.

“They obviously need to pick up and do it quick if they’re going to survive.

“But I’m sure if everyone rallies together and pulls in the same direction then they can get out of it.”

We understand that Clarke could be interested in being the man who leads Pools’ fight against relegation, although he admits to being happy with his current player-manager post.

“I’ve got a very small squad here and a lot of young lads – but they’re a brilliant bunch and have done wonders for me,” added the Mansfield-born boss.

“I’ve had a great time here as manager these past couple of years.

“We’re five points clear at the top now and we’re in there challenging.”

SEE Saturday’s Hartlepool Mail for full story