Workington Reds are hoping to make a decision on their new manager in the next 48 hours.

After holding interviews at the start of the week with four shortlisted applicants, Reds are now close to making a decision.

But chairman John Mackay insists they have to make sure they have the right person for the job to take them forward.

“We are hoping to be able to make an announcement in the next 24 to 48 hours,” said Mackay. “We are not sitting back doing nothing, we were happy with the interviews but now we are just waiting for the final pieces of the jigsaw to fall into place before we can announce a new manager.”

Reds brought the interviews forward so that they could get a new boss in as soon as possible and allow them to start planning for next term.

Workington have dropped out of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League after a dire campaign which saw managerial changes, injury problems and a poor home record as they failed to replicate the form which saw them reach the play-offs multiple times with the bulk of this squad. And manager Lee Andrews stood down from his role, leaving the hot seat vacant. But there was plenty of early interest in the job which allowed the club to shortlist the top four candidates.

“We brought the interviews forward so that the person in question can hit the ground running and start preparing,” added Mackay. “The sooner the new manager can start to prepare, the better and they can take it from there.”

Workington will start life in the Northern Premier North West Division next season under their new manager.

Mackay said early on in the process that Workington were looking for someone with good coaching qualifications, man management skills and good contacts within the game. And he added that if they were still young enough to be a player-manager that would be even better.

But it was key that the new manager would need to be a professional role model and motivate the players, as Reds hope to bounce back up at the first attempt.

n FORMER Workington Reds and Penrith AFC frontman Nathan Waterston is set to leave Barrow AFC.

Waterston, who also plays cricket for Furness’ first-team, has struggled with injuries at his hometown club and is currently sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury he suffered while on loan at Altrincham.

On Twitter, he said: “After careful consideration, I have made the decision to inform @BarrowAFC that I do not wish to consider any further options with the club after the end of my current contract. I’d like to wish the management team and players all the best for the future.”

Waterston graduated through the AFC Performance Centre up to Under-18s level, before he got his first taste of senior football at Frenchfield Park. He then moved on to Workington where he scored 10 times and claimed seven assists in 33 appearances for the west Cumbrians before rejoining Barrow in March last year. Waterston made his first-team debut for Barrow at Macclesfield Town and played an important role in the Bluebirds’ successful battle against relegation from the National League last term, but never really got the chance to play regular first-team football this season.