WANTED! The next Joe Allon.
New Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper admits he needs to find a man with a goalden touch when he puts together the squad for the League Two promotion challenge.
It is no secret that Pools have struggled for goals – Andy Monkhouse headed the charts with seven during the relegation season.
During the previous two campaigns, the top scorer has come from midfield, Antony Sweeney taking the accolade on both occasions.
Incredibly, you have to go back five seasons, to the 2008-09 programme, for the last time a centre-forward reached double figures – Joel Porter bagging 23.
And Cooper, harking back to the days when Allon netted 35 times on the way to Pools winning promotion in 1991, is keenly aware of the need for a goal-scoring striker.
“On my way down to the ground, I heard Joe on the radio and I can’t thank him enough for the kind words,” Cooper told SportMail.
“But that’s what we need, a new Joe Allon and we’ll be trying hard to find one.
“I’m not sure there is another Joe Allon out there! But that’s what we’ll be doing.
“Goals are the biggest thing in football.
“All managers are looking for goals.
“We are going to have to try to be clever in the market.
“We’ve been through the [retained] list and we know the gaps that need filling.
“Myself and Craig are already having discussions about individuals and where we might be able to get those from.
“You have lists of your A-stars, then your Bs and your Cs and so on.
“We’ll have to pick through the lists and hopefully we can get some good players to come to Hartlepool.
“We also need them to be good characters and people who are ready for what’s in front of us, which is going to be hard work.”
SEE Monday’s Mail for full story and three pages on Colin Cooper’s arrival at Pools