Colin Todd is expected to be confirmed as Darlington’s new manager in the next 24 hours. Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson profiles the man who has been charged with the task of turning the Quakers around.

AS a player, Colin Todd was renowned for his calmness and composure. It is probably just as well. With his official unveiling as Darlington’s new manager expected to take place before the end of the week, the 60- year-old will no doubt see those qualities tested to the limit.

While his arrival is expected to coincide with the Quakers exiting administration, Todd will nevertheless inherit a club that is on its knees.

The playing and coaching staff have been decimated, the fans are in open revolt against former chairman George Houghton, who will continue to play a leading role in the new era, and money will be tighter than ever following almost three months in the hands of the administrators.

Believe it or not, though, Todd has had it worse. And as he prepares to lead Darlington’s resurrection, the Chester-le-Street-born boss can look back on his time at Bradford City and be grateful for small mercies.

If the current situation at The Northern Echo Darlington Arena is bad, the mess he inherited at Valley Parade was considerably more catastrophic.

Having originally joined Bradford as assistant to Bryan Robson, Todd was installed as the Bantams’ manager in June 2004.

He took over a club that boasted just five professionals, all of whom were youngsters, and was forced to operate under the shadow of a £36m debt, a millstone that took Bradford to within 24 hours of liquidation under Todd’s control.

The situation appeared hopeless, but coolly and calmly, the former defender begged and borrowed a playing staff capable of surviving the club’s relegation from the Championship the previous season.

Todd achieved successive 11th-placed finishes in League One – hardly sensational given Bradford’s recent Premiership past, but a notable achievement given the parameters he was forced to work within.

The experience proved educational, teaching Todd that no matter how bad the situation, a route to salvation can always be found. It will no doubt be a period he will draw from extensively as he attempts to turn Darlington around.

“When you get into a job, there’s no point complaining you’ve got no money to spend,” Todd told The Northern Echo, as he announced his candidature for the Quakers job in an interview earlier this month.

“You have to work within the parameters of what the chairman says.

“When I was manager at Bradford, we took players on loan to help bolster the squad. Everyone was tipping us for relegation, but we ended up just missing out on the play-offs.

“I had to wheel and deal, I’m used to that. I can look back on my career and say that I’ve left clubs in a far better position. I think any chairman would say I did a decent job for them.”

Had you asked any of Todd’s former managers the same question during his playing career, they would also have said the same.

Having been born in Chester-le-Street in 1948, Todd began his playing career with Sunderland.

He made 173 senior appearances, most as a cultured left-back, and his qualities soon came to the attention of a certain Brian Clough.

Clough paid £175,000 for his services, much to the annoyance of his chairman at Derby County, Sam Longson, and Todd went on to spend eight years at the Baseball Ground, winning two league titles and 27 England caps as he established himself as one of the best ball-playing defenders in the country.

He joined Everton and Birmingham City before linking up again with Clough at Nottingham Forest, and spent brief playing spells at Oxford, Vancouver Whitecaps and Luton before hanging up his boots in 1984.

He returned to the North-East and worked as a coach at Middlesbrough until, in 1990, he succeeded Bruce Rioch as the Teesside club’s manager.

Todd, who became the first Boro boss to lead his side out at Wembley in the final of the Zenith Data Systems Cup, narrowly avoided relegation to the Third Division in his first season at Ayresome Park.

He qualified for the playoffs a year later, only to lose to Notts County, but surprised everyone by standing down shortly after citing ‘boardroom interference’.

Within 12 months, he had teamed up with Rioch again at Bolton, and when Rioch left for Arsenal in 1995, Todd took over as joint-manager alongside Roy McFarland.

McFarland was dismissed in early 1996, leaving Todd in sole charge, and while he was unable to stop to Trotters slipping out of the Premiership, he guided them straight back into the topflight the following season.

During his time at Bolton, he signed the likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen, Claus Jensen, Ricardo Gardner and Eidur Gudjohnsen, all unheralded foreigners who went on to make a major impact in England.

He left Bolton in 1999, and moved to Bradford after brief spells with Swindon and Derby.

His most recent spell in management was in Denmark, with Todd taking charge of Randers FC and guiding the First Division side to sixth place in the table, the best finish in their history.

“I enjoyed my time overseas,” said Todd recently.

“But I’d love to get back into English football. I’m ready for a new challenge.”

Having agreed to join Darlington, he has certainly got that. But while managing the Quakers will be challenging, it will be nothing he has not seen before.