Former Hibs manager and player both linked with Hartlepool United vacancy

Hartlepool United’s search for a new manager could be reaching its final stages, with former Hibs boss Jack Ross reported to be on the shortlist.

However, former Easter Road midfielder Kevin Thomson is the bookies’ favourite to get the job and is available after resigning as Kelty Hearts manager this week.

Hartelpool’s quest to find Graeme Lee’s replacement has been ongoing for almost a month after the League Two club parted company with the 44-year-old just 48 hours before their final game of the season against Colchester United, despite keeping them in League Two.

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Finding a new manager has been a slow process until the club announced a week ago they were hopeful of making an announcement ‘soon’ having established an ‘exciting shortlist’ of candidates following first stage conversations.

Jack Ross took over as manager of Sunderland in 2018 narrowly missing out on promotion in the play-off final a year later.

The Hartlepool Mail is reporting that former Hibs boss Ross is one of the names high up on that shortlist but claim he has distanced himself from the post.

The 45-year-old has been out of work since being axed by Hibs in December but still lives in the north east of England following his time in charge at Sunderland.

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As a player, Ross spent a season at Hartlepool in 2004 making 31 appearances, and came agonisingly close to taking Sunderland up to the Championship as a manager in 2019 only to be undone by stoppage time heartache in the League One play-off final against Charlton Athletic.

But despite his last two roles ending in the sack, his stock remains high and would be seen as a coup for Hartlepool were they able to land him.

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Kevin Thomson has left his role at Kelty Hearts to further his career in management. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Former Hibs, Rangers and Middlesbrough midfielder Kevin Thomson is now the overriding favourite for the role with the bookmakers.

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Thomson, 37, enjoyed a hugely successful season with Kelty after guiding them to the Scottish League Two title in a convincing manner.

But the former Rangers midfielder has left his role at New Central Park with reports elsewhere suggesting he is keen to further his career in management.

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Dundee have been linked with both Ross and Thomson, but Thomson is now the frontrunner to take over at Hartlepool.