Colin Cooper will call in contacts at Boro, NUFC & SAFC to bring players to Pools

Dated  11/05/2009'Goal .. Newcastle coach Iain Dowie stands stoney faced as the Middlesbrough bench celebrate going one up thanks to an own goal by United's Habib Beye in the opening minutes of the vital relegation derby match at St James park.' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES
Dated 11/05/2009'Goal .. Newcastle coach Iain Dowie stands stoney faced as the Middlesbrough bench celebrate going one up thanks to an own goal by United's Habib Beye in the opening minutes of the vital relegation derby match at St James park.' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

COLIN Cooper is already promising to lean heavily on his contacts within the game in a bid to bring the best players to Hartlepool United.

The 46-year-old was officially confirmed as the successor to John Hughes yesterday afternoon.

Unofficially, however, Cooper has been working behind the scenes having known the job was his since early last week, as reported in SportMail.

The former Middlesbrough, Millwall, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland defender has already touched base with several contacts, especially those in the North-East.

And Trimdon-born Cooper argues that, between himself and assistant Craig Hignett, they have the know-how to identify the players who can “freshen” the relegated club ahead of next season.

“Between myself and Craig we have covered three-quarters of the Football League and Premier League,” said the man who made more than 600 league appearances over a 20-year playing career.

“People are already phoning us asking what can they do to help - those connections will be vital.

“The additions we want to make will help to bring a freshness.”

He went on: “Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland will be doing all they can to help us.

“Those conversations have already been had.

“We are going to need that help from the North-East’s big clubs.”

Pools have already finalised the future of those players whose contracts expire this summer.

Senior players Evan Horwood and Ritchie Humphreys were both released, while there were new deals for Neil Austin, James Poole, Andy Monkhouse and Sam Collins.

Striker Steve Howard and goalkeeper Scott Flinders are also expected to depart over the coming weeks.

Cooper will no doubt be aware of where his priorities lie when it comes to recruitment – primarily in attack – but he concedes that patience could be key in brining in the right men.

“There is more done last minute now more than ever,” the former Boro academy coach told the club’s website.

“It’s not ideal but that’s just the way football is.

“So most of our additions will probably come in the last couple of weeks before the season starts.”