Blues pair in old Palls act

Former Ipswich defensive colleagues Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus could be reunited as Hartlepool's new management double act.Mowbray, 39, recently agreed a new one-year deal to remain at Portman Road as first team coach.

By Mel Henderson

Former Ipswich defensive colleagues Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus could be reunited as Hartlepool's new management double act.

Mowbray, 39, recently agreed a new one-year deal to remain at Portman Road as first team coach.

But he has made no secret of his desire to enter management and the Victoria Park vacancy is known to appeal.


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Intriguingly, his former Middlesbrough colleague, Gary Pallister, was apparently seen at Hartlepool on Friday.

A Mowbray-Pallister partnership is another possibility, with Venus returning to his roots as a player and being given some coaching responsibilities.

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Hartlepool-born Venus started his career there before moving to Leicester and Wolves, from whom Ipswich signed him in 1997.

Town freed the 36-year-old last month and, while he plans to play on for at least one more season, he is also keen to develop his coaching skills.

The pair formed a strong bond in their time as playing colleagues and both are keen students of the game.

Venus has several options to consider, with Cambridge United keen to take him to the Abbey Stadium.

Boss John Taylor said: "Mark is away on holiday at the moment, but I spoke to him recently and intend to contact him again when he returns."

Peterborough, who have received a sizeable cash injection from Essex businessman Colin Hill, are also keeping tabs on Venus.

There has even been a suggestion that former Ipswich boss George Burley is ready to make Venus an offer to join Derby.

That would be a tempting proposition, as it would enable the player to continue in the First Division.

Of Burley's many signings during almost eight years in charge at Portman Road, few represented better value for money than Venus.

Mowbray is one of many contenders for the Hartlepool job and, as a former Boro stalwart with business interests in the region, a return to his native North East would suit him.

Despite the club's promotion to the Second Division, new boss Mike Newell was axed last month.

There is no shortage of candidates for the job, with Brian Little, Colin Todd, Terry Dolan, Paul Bracewell and Tommy Coyne all asking to be considered.

Ex-Darlington boss David Hodgson and Eddie Gray, a victim of Peter Reid's backroom purge at Leeds, have also been mentioned.

And the club's youth coach, Martin Scott, has asked to be considered for the post.

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