Next Hartlepool Manager Odds: Tony Mowbray a surprise name in the betting
Hartlepool are back searching for a third manager in six months after the League Two club parted ways with Graeme Lee.
While results and performances had declined in recent months, the poor timing of the decision seems a little harsh on Lee given that Hartlepool only have one game of the season remaining: Saturday’s clash at home to Colchester.
Lee was only handed the job in December after Hartlepool lost their promotion-winning boss Dave Challinor to non-league Stockport.
In a club statement, Chairman Raj Singh highlighted underwhelming results - especially at home - as the main factor behind his decision to make a change, with Lee registering only one win from his final 11 matches, a return which leaves Pools 16th in the table; albeit safe from relegation and well clear of the drop zone.
Singh also said that he wants to see Hartlepool challenging for promotion up to League One and will back the new manager in the summer transfer window:
“After achieving promotion back to the Football League last year, we remain ambitious as a Club to continue our progress with promotion to League One being our target.
“Further, after investing money into the team in January, we will continue to add more quality this summer window and beyond.
“The Club has made real progress over recent years and I felt it important to make this decision now, so we can get our new manager in place as early as possible to prepare for the new season.”
Below we look at the early names that feature in the next Hartlepool manager odds market.
Hartlepool have placed Michael Nelson and Anthony Sweeney in charge for the end of season clash against Colchester, with both available at 16/1 for the permanent job.
The big talking point at this early stage in proceedings is the emergence of Tony Mowbray as one of the surprise favourites in the betting.
Mowbray has revealed that he will be leaving Blackburn at the end of the season, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed by the club itself, and there are reports that Mowbray could remain at the Ewood Park but in a different role.
"All the other stuff, directors of football, I don't know, I've never done that,” he said in the build-up to what is likely to be his final game in charge. "Maybe for a thought, it would be nice to be involved in football but not have the pressure to win on Saturday.
Although he did add: “I hope to be in football management still for a long time because it’s what I do.”
Mowbray, who is from Saltburn-by-the-Sea, has said that he wants to spend more time with this family, which the Hartlepool job would likely allow him to do given the location. However, stepping down two whole divisions is a huge gap for a manager like Mowbray, who you’d think would have a decent chance of getting another Championship job given his track record and experience.
There are also multiple League One clubs searching for a new manager.
Until his next step in the game becomes a bit clearer, Mowbray is one to keep an eye on in the Pools market, but while an appointment would be a huge coup for the club, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his odds - currently 2/1 - drift over the next few days. We’ll see what happens.
At the time of publication, it’s Redcar-born Rochdale manager Robbie Stockdale who has just emerged as the new frontrunner in the betting.
In charge of Dale since last summer, could he swap League Two dugouts? It's probably not one that too many fans would be getting excited about given that Dale are down in 20th.
The 42-year-old has coaching experience from his time at Grimsby, Hibernian, West Brom, and Sunderland, where he was caretaker three times.
A dip into the National League managerial pool could be a tempting option for Hartlepool. Former Oldham manager Pete Wild (6/1) is impressing at promotion-chasing Halifax. Given he’s currently bidding to fire his troops into the EFL, Hartlepool may have to bide their time with this one.
Bromley boss Andy Woodman, hotly linked with Pools and Gillingham earlier this season, is another name in the mix.
Experienced out-of-work managers include Paul Tisdale, Kenny Jackett, SImon Grayson, Nigel Adkins, and Mark Cooper.
One manager who won’t be getting the job is former Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate who slammed Hartlepool’s decision to sack Lee as “horrific”, before revealing that there’s no chance he would consider taking over from his mate.