TUESDAY was supposed to be the final game for Antony Sweeney in charge of Hartlepool United. Instead he gets one more outing in control.

Dave Challinor will start work on Monday, the manager-in-waiting still has come contractual issues to resolved with his former club before he can get to work at Pools.

Sweeney will lead Pools at Yeovil in the FA Cup today.

The club’s former midfielder was the other serious option to Challinor when it came to picking a new boss, putting himself in the frame thanks to an impressive outlook in his temporary spell in charge.

But Mark Maguire, the club’s chief executive, says he spotted Sweeney’s potential and passion at the turn of the year.

During an all-too-familiar upheaval at Victoria Park, Richard Money was appointed, stood down, moved to an alternative role and walked away.

The mess infuriated Sweeney, then part of the youth set-up at the club.

“I identified him eight months ago to the chairman as a potential future manager. He came to my attention when Richard Money left, shouting at me how stupid it made the club look,’’ recalled Maguire.

“But he did it in a way to demonstrate his passion, commitment and he was spot on.

“I’ve kept an eye on him and been impressed all the way and this job has been exceptional along with Ian McGuckin.’’

Managers come and go with regularity at Victoria Park. Even though the current regime is only 19 months in, they are now onto their fifth different boss – caretakers included.

Maguire accepts the need for stability. The fact that Challinor has just spent eight years at one club can only be a good thing.

“This is a crucial appointment for chairman and club,’’ said Maguire. “He doesn’t want to be a sacking chairman and he is upset we haven’t made the progress on the football side as he wants to.

“We aren’t far off, but still sat mid-table and lamenting teams with less resources than us were competing and beating us.

“He wants leadership on the football side to tell us where we are going. We are not trying to be experts, but we want confidence from the person above leading us – what we need to get more and get a chance of success.’’

He added: “When we met Dave, he was outstanding from the first moment. Our concerns were three-fold.

“Geography – how would he be as he lives around Chester with his family? That’s not an issue, they get engaged in the club he is with.

“Budget – the massive budget at Fylde. We looked at it and their budget is the same we have this year. They had success on the same budget. That was confirmed with the National League.

“Danny Rowe, scoring all the goals. He signed him for peanuts a division below, so you can’t blame him for good recruitment.

“We looked at everything, and we had some really good candidates, but he was the stand-out candidate. We had to decide on one or another, but part of his remit is to develop Tony and Ian, two people you can build a club around.

“The prospect of losing them if it went wrong was something I didn’t want. We want to follow a model like Swansea, create a core of people you can build on so change is minimal. Ian is starting his work with the young team improving them and do we look at Tony now, developing fantastically and because of the emotion do we do it now or get someone proved at this level?

“He won’t come in and bulldoze people around.’’

Sweeney has bene given the chance to breath and develop his career over a short period of time. The experience has been invaluable and rewarding.

He may have played over 460 times for the club, but this stretch of six games has been as important as any of them.

“You learn about yourself with every decision,’’ he mused. “How strong you are, how you deal with players, but until you are in that position you really have no idea how to deal with it.

“I think I’ve dealt with it quite well and the defeat can be a good thing as winning can give you a false picture. Defeats come and it’s a different pressure as permanent boss. Aspects of it, yes I’ve enjoyed and there’s aspects which have been a challenge which you have to think about in the future if the opportunity came to put yourself forward in the future.

“I’m hoping that the decision doesn’t have to be made for a long time yet – we have appointed a manager here with the credentials to make the club successful. No need to change the manager soon we all hope.

“We have spoke a lot, but it’s early about getting to know each other, early signs are we are not a million miles away from each other.

“He has a lot of good ideas, a really good fella to know and we are on the same page for a lot of things.

“He will have his own ideas, but knows a lot about the place and the club because he’s done his homework. He knows there’s strong foundations here, but just needs tweaking and he has the knowledge and experience to do that.’’