Centre-half a priority for Hartlepool United after Scott Harrison returns to Sunderland

DEBUT: Adam Campbell in action against York City. Picture by FRANK REID
DEBUT: Adam Campbell in action against York City. Picture by FRANK REID
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HARTLEPOOL United will today step up the search for central defensive cover after Scott Harrison returned to Sunderland.

Saturday’s 3-1 defeat with York City marked Harrison’s final match of his three-month loan, with the centre-back unable to return to Pools under the terms of the loan window.

The 21-year-old has been at the League Two outfit for a maximum 93 days and like Middlesbrough striker Charlie Wyke must return to his parent club.

Wyke missed Saturday with a knee injury and Murray is keen for the pair to return when the January transfer window opens on January 1.

Murray has signed Newcastle United striker Adam Campbell and Sheffield United striker Joe Ironside as cover up front, but needs to bring in defensive cover, especially with a tough League Two clash with high fliers Wycombe at the Vic this Saturday. The current loan window shuts on Thursday.

Murray wouldn’t confirm whether the defensive cover would be on a loan or permanent basis but the Cumbrian said he has options lined up.

“Scott Harrison has played his last game for the time being and we will address that in January,” said Murray.

“I have some other people lined up who I want to replace him.

“The loan window shuts on Thursday. Hopefully this week, something will happen.

“I can’t elaborate but it will be a centre-half coming in for sure because I have Sam, who is 37, and then Scott who is leaving to go back to Sunderland.

“We have had a few chats with Scott and there is a lot to work to do with him but he has done well for me. I am very keen to have him back.”

Further up the pitch, Campbell and Ironside both made their debuts for Pools, coming on as subs with City leading 3-1.

Ironside replaced Marlon Harewood up front, while 19-year-

old Campbell came on as Pools switched to a diamond formation, spending time on the right and behind the front two.

Murray added: “I changed to a diamond and tried to get Adam [Campbell] in the hole – a position he may play for us – but it was difficult being 3-1 down.

“Joe was a late signing, it has been difficult to get the senior ones to drop down to this level.

“But Joe was always on my list, as well as maybe bringing in another striker.”