COLIN Cooper has ran the rule over a host of Hartlepool United transfer targets in the past 24 hours.
The Pools boss was at the Academy of Light yesterday afternoon as Sunderland’s under-21s enjoyed a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, a game which featured his former Middlesbrough team-mate and current Black Cats midfielder, Lee Cattermole.
Cooper was locked in discussion with Black Cats coach Kevin Ball after the game and it is thought young forwards Billy Knott, Duncan Watmore and Jordan Laidler – scorer of the only goal – could well be of interest.
And Cooper was again in the stands last night as Middlesbrough’s under-21s were beaten 3-1 by Leicester City at Pools’ Victoria Park.
The 46-year-old is keen to bring at least one striker to the Vic before the end of the month and has already stated that several North-East-based youngsters are on his radar.
Funds should be available following last week’s sale of Peter Hartley and, given that his side are yet to score in League Two, Cooper will be hoping for addition sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Pools reserves were beaten 3-0 at Rotherham United yesterday in their Central League opener.
The Millers took the lead shortly before half-time and added two more goals after the break.
Assistant manager Craig Hignett took charge of the side, which included senior defender Sam Collins, summer signing Nialle Rodney and trialist Michael Duckworth.
And Hignett reflected: “In the first half I thought we did okay and created a few chances, but didn’t take them.
“They managed to get their noses in front just before the break and I think we have to be disappointed with the second-half performance.
“We showed our naivety as a young side and were perhaps a little intimidated by some of the bigger, older players so it’s a learning curve for the players.
“They have to be learn to deal with that physical side of football but the second half today was a harsh lesson for them.”
Pools: Rafferty, Richards, Collins, Nearney, Jones, Rowbotham, Duckworth, Wignall (Wood 70), Boagey, Rodney (Halpin 85), Rutherford.
Subs not used: Foden, Green, Smith.