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Hartlepool United’s search for manager hits brick wall as former Bournemouth boss ruled out of running

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Hartlepool United are back in League Two and haven’t had too bad of a season by any means, with the side currently sat in 16th and able to look forward to another campaign of fourth tier football.

Despite securing their safety though, the club have decided to part ways with manager Graeme Lee. The boss was brought in before the turn of the year and has managed to keep Hartlepool afloat during that time.

However, his record was clearly not satisfactory enough for their owners, who have decided to remove him from his position having only joined midway through the season. Now, with the club searching for a new manager to lead them forward, one of the contenders for the role has ruled himself out of the reckoning.

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That man is Jonathan Woodgate, who has told BBC Radio Tees (via the Northern Echo) that there is ‘no chance’ of him being the next manager of the League Two team.

This campaign for Hartlepool marks their first season back in the EFL in four campaigns, having got themselves promoted last summer under Dave Challinor. That man is no longer in charge and was replaced by Lee back in December, who has continued to keep the side battling in the fourth tier.

However, they have decided to look elsewhere ahead of the summer – and although they may have liked Woodgate to take them forward, with the former Bournemouth boss one of the names being thrown around, he told BBC Radio Tees (via the Northern Echo) that there is ‘absolutely no chance’ of him taking up the position.

Woodgate had a win rate of 57% for Bournemouth, a record that could see him do well at League Two level – but it appears he won’t be heading to Hartlepool anytime soon. He said of taking the job: “Absolutely no chance.

“They just sacked my pal. Why would I go and do that to my mate? You’ve got to be loyal by the way but that is not something I would look at. No chance.”

The Verdict

Jonathan Woodgate would no doubt be a shrewd appointment at League Two level if Hartlepool could have snagged him. His first stint as a manager with Middlesbrough didn’t go too well but he built upon it and had some success with the Cherries in his last role.

Both of those jobs came much higher up the football pyramid and whilst that may not have too much impact on how well he would do in League Two, the fact he was able to do a relatively solid job with Bournemouth in the Championship previously suggest he could work wonders with Hartlepool.

However, it looks like he really won’t be taking on the job – and it will lead the fourth tier outfit having to look elsewhere for a new boss. There are still plenty of solid candidates out there right now, all of whom are familiar with the EFL and doing well in the fourth tier table.

It does come as a surprise that Lee wasn’t given more time though – but Hartlepool clearly have a different vision in mind.


Writer for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Hartlepool United’s search for manager hits brick wall as former Bournemouth boss ruled out of running

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