Hartlepool United appoint Colin Cooper as new boss

Colin Cooper

Hartlepool have named ex-England and Middlesbrough defender Colin Cooper as manager following the

Cooper has worked on the Bradford City coaching staff and had been employed as Middlesbrough's under-18 coach before taking up the Pools post.

The 46-year-old will be tasked with leading Pools back to League One after relegation this season.

He has named former Boro midfielder Craig Hignett as his assistant.

Cooper becomes the club's sixth manager in five years, including caretakers.

That turnover of managers, starting with the departure of Danny Wilson in December 2008, has seen a gradual slide from outsiders for the play-offs to relegation.

Chris Turner, Mick Wadsworth, Neale Cooper and most recently Hughes have all attempted to arrest the slump, and Cooper will now undertake the rebuilding process,

"I'm delighted for him and I think he's at a good age," former Middlesbrough boss Bruce Rioch told BBC Tees.

"He's had a good football career with a good pedigree and worked for some good managers at some good clubs.

"He knows the area well and has lots of experience of working at first-team level."

Born in Durham, Cooper came through the ranks to play under Rioch at Boro and made 239 appearances in his first spell before joining Millwall in 1991.

Two successful years in London led to a move to Nottingham Forest, where he earned England recognition before returning to Boro for a final spell as a player.

Time on the Middlesbrough coaching staff after his retirement was followed by a move to Bradford City as assistant to Peter Jackson.

But once former defender Tony Mowbray returned to Teesside as manager,