Cooper ready for second stint with Hartlepool

Hartlepool have confirmed the appointment of Neale Cooper as the club's new manager following the sacking of Mick Wadsworth earlier this month. Cooper, 48, will begin his second spell as the club's manager, having spent two successful seasons in charge from 2003 to 2005. Caretaker boss Micky Barron will remain as reserve-team coach.

A club statement read: "Although the club received many applications for the vacant position and studied all CVs carefully, it was decided that by appointing Neale, and retaining Micky Barron as the reserve-team coach, it would cause minimum disruption to the team's main focus, which is to climb the division and to try and reverse the current trend of home defeats.

"In addition, Neale is familiar with several of the existing team members, the staff in the office and fully understands the economic constraints that the owners have to keep in place due to the current financially depressed climate."

Cooper, whose 19-year playing career included stints at Aberdeen, Aston Villa, Rangers and Dunfermline, steered Pools to the League One playoffs in his first season in charge in 2004.

The Scot, who had led Ross County from the Scottish Third Division to the First Division, almost repeated the feat the following season, but left with one game remaining by mutual consent.