CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe is tipping Chris Hargreaves to be a success in management – should he decide to accept a post with either Northampton or Torquay.
First-team coach Hargreaves, a popular player during spells with the Cobblers and the Gulls, is understood to be pondering job offers from both League Two strugglers.
Northampton have been searching for a new manager since Adie Boothroyd was sacked last month, while Alan Knill was relieved of his duties at Plainmoor just four days ago.
Hargreaves, promoted to Howe’s backroom staff in the summer, is believed to have impressed directors from both clubs during formal talks held over the past few days.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “We were approached by both Northampton and Torquay for permission to speak to Chris, which we reluctantly agreed to. We don’t want to stand in the way of somebody progressing their career, if that is the path he wants to take.
"But, at the same time, he is a valued member of my staff and we wouldn’t want to lose him. We have left the ball very much in Chris’s court to make the decision that he wants for him and his family. It is rare you have a chance to take two jobs so we will wait to see what happens.
“I think he wants the chance to manage in his own right and I don’t think you can stop anybody with that wish. If he were to go, he would go with our best wishes.”
Despite springing a surprise by winning 2-1 at high-flying Newport County on Saturday, Northampton remained rooted to the foot of the Football League. And Torquay, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, are just one place above them in 23rd.
Although not as dire, it would be a similar predicament for Hargreaves to the one Howe inherited when he cut his teeth in management five years ago, with Cherries seven points adrift of safety in the bottom division.
Howe added: “If he were to choose one of them, it would be a really difficult situation. I have been there myself and it is a daunting task when you are towards the bottom of League Two. But knowing Chris, he has certainly got the work ethic and the brain to be a good manager so, hopefully, if he were to decide to go down that route, he would do well.”