COLIN Cooper admits he did not want to lose Peter Hartley – but hopes his exit now paves the way for new arrivals.
The Pools boss, whose side welcome Southend United tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), is determined to turn the disappointment of the defender’s departure into a positive by using the money generated to fund entry into the transfer market.
Seven days ago, Cooper told SportMail that his hands were tied when it came to reinforcement, instead relying on free loan deals from the club’s North-East neighbours.
While he still hopes to strike such arrangement with the likes of Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, Cooper also wants to bring in permanent signings.
“The ideal scenario is turning the disappointment of losing Peter into a positive by getting a couple of new lads in,” he explained to SportMail today, Hartley having joined Stevenage for a five-figure sum on Wednesday.
“What Pete leaves us with is an opportunity to bring one or two in.
“Whether that’s permanents or using that money for loan fees, we’ll have to see.
“But we’ve lost another senior player and it leaves us young.
“The loan market is mainly younger players so hopefully we can maybe use that money to bring one or two more senior lads in.
“So I’d like to think we can utilise Pete’s money to do something other than loans.
“There is a chink of manoeuvrability for us now and we have to be productive with the two weeks that we’ve got left.
“It’s not easy but we will continue to try our best.
“We’ll be making phone calls today to try to get something done.
“But I would also still like our North-East neighbours to knock on the door and say ‘we’d like this lad to play some League football, how do you feel about taking him?’.”
Meanwhile, Cooper has revealed that Hartley had asked about a fresh start away from Victoria Park earlier in the summer.
And he sends the 25-year-old on his way with the best of wishes.
“It was something which Peter sought very early into my tenure,” said Cooper when asked about the reasons behind the centre-back’s decision to leave.
“He thought for his own self it might be the right thing to do.
“He really bought into the plan that we had but there was something niggling in the back of his mind which said ‘it’s time for a fresh start and to try something different’.
“Speaking to Graham Westley at Stevenage, he wanted Peter.
“We wanted him to stay but it was a decision for Peter and his family.
“We wish him well and hope that it is everything that he wants it to be.
“But he goes with our best wishes.
“I didn’t want him to go but things happen in football.
“I left my hometown club as a young footballer and it’s hard, but good luck to him.”