HARTLEPOOL United are looking to appoint a new manager for next season following their decision to sack Graeme Lee last night.

Lee had five months in charge at the club and led them to League Two safety but was relived of his duties after one win in their last eleven games.

The early favourite Jonathan Woodgate ruled himself out of a switch to the Suit Direct Stadium saying there is 'absolutely no way' he would take the job.

Whilst it appears that the search for a new manager is well underway, here a list of early out-of-work managers who are being linked with the current vacancy:

Tony Mowbray

He is still under contract at Blackburn Rovers but the manager has already admitted that he expects to leave the club in the summer having not held any discussions over an extension. Unless anything drastically changes, his stint as the leagues longest serving manager looks like it’s coming to an end.

Having spent five years in Lancashire, Mowbray has spoken of a work-life balance that he wants to have with his family based back up in Teesside. Managing at Hartlepool United would allow him to do that.

For him to take the job, it would be a significant drop down the divisions from a side that were battling for promotion to the Premier League earlier in the season to one in League Two. But one that does seem to tick a lot of boxes.

The Northern Echo: Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray

Simon Grayson

Grayson is a managerial stalwart in the game and has been around the block. But since serving Preston North End for over four years, things haven’t quite worked out at Sunderland, Bradford City, Blackpool and most recently Fleetwood Town.

He has been to the Suit Direct Stadium on a number of occasions this season in a punditry capacity. A move to Pools would represent his lowest level of management down in League Two.

The Northern Echo: Fleetwood Town manager Simon Grayson (PA)

Kenny Jackett

Another Englishman who has been around the block in the dugout. His lengthiest spell at any team was with Millwall where he spent nearly six years at the Den.

Jackett took a plunge down to League Two with Leyton Orient having failed to gain promotion with Portsmouth. But expectations weren’t met when performances meant they were cautiously looking over their shoulder and he was relieved of his duties in February earlier this year.

The Northern Echo: JW 23 Dec 2021 soccer o's kenny jackett soccer u's kenny jackett picture by PA

Chris Beech

Beech spent two years as a Hartlepool United player scoring 23 goals in 92 appearances which stands as the immediate local connection. Evidence suggests Pools aren’t afraid to employ former players.

Beech’s first stint in the dugout came with Carlisle United where he lasted nearly two years. His team couldn’t set the world alight with an 18th place finish in his first season.

After the second season was curtailed due to the pandemic, Beech was sacked in October last year with Carlisle ensconced in a relegation battle.

The Northern Echo: Chris Beech   - Pic by : Richard Parkes

Michael Appleton

Fresh out of Lincoln City, Appleton was sacked last week after three seasons in charge. He was one game away from taking them to the Championship having reached the play-off final last year losing out to Blackpool.

Appleton would bring a lot of connections and pedigree to the job having managed Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool and Oxford United but it seems he would be the most unlikely to take the job.

The Northern Echo: Michael Appleton