RELIEVED chairman Raj Singh admitted Quakers new manager Mark Cooper increased his chances of being appointed by putting himself forward to replace Ryan Kidd.

Kidd informed Singh last Friday he was having second thoughts about the post and Cooper wasted little time in making Singh aware he would be interested in the post.

After spending the weekend mulling over the situation, Kidd resigned on Monday and Singh instantly made Cooper manager at The Northern Echo Arena.

Cooper has been out of work since leaving Peterborough United in January, and was originally offered the Darlington job in March as a replacement for Steve Staunton.

He turned down the role as he was expecting to be handed the managerial job at Barnet, so Singh switched his attentions to Simon Davey but he lasted only 77 days which preceded Kidd’s 12-day spell.

Cooper signed a one-year contract yesterday with Richard Dryden, his assistant.

Singh said: “Davey was our number two choice. We wanted Mark Cooper but he’d been promised a job elsewhere which didn’t materialise.

“I met him in Tamworth on Monday and what I was impressed with is that Mark approached us; I liked that.

“We’ve gone through the squad with him and he’s happy with the set-up.

“He’s mentioned two or three players who sound really good and I’m hoping no damage has been done. It’s better it happens now than in a few weeks time.”

Appointing Cooper brings to an end a difficult episode in Darlington’s history following the ill-fated reigns of Davey and Kidd.

Singh is now looking ahead to better times as Quakers prepare for the Blue Square Bet Premier, with the fixtures for the new season released on Monday. He has been chairman for 12 months and admits his first year has been “traumatic”.

“We were convinced we had the right man in Simon Davey but now I’ve got no time for him whatsoever,” said Singh.

“Davey was a bombshell, but to be fair to Ryan he told me his decision face-to-face.

“We just need to steady the ship now and move on and I am as committed as ever “All I’ve tried to be is honest with the fans.

“I never thought it was going to be a bed of roses but I never expected it to be as traumatic as this.”