Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett highlights two key areas he wants to strengthen in January

Craig Hignett.  Picture by FRANK REID
Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID
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A striker and a centre-half are at the top of Hartlepool United’s wanted list in the January transfer window.

Following the departure of Jake Carroll to Cambridge United, Pools boss Craig Hignett is hopeful that he will be able to add at least two more players to his ranks before the end of the window.

We are actively looking for a striker and a central defender

And he has set his sights on bringing in a centre-back, having allowed Toto Nsiala to leave for Shrewsbury Town last week, as well as a forward to provide competition for club captain Billy Payner and top-scorer Padraig Amond.

The manager said: “We are actively looking for a centre-half.

“I’m actively looking for a striker.

“But saying that January is a window where you either get people who others don’t want or people who are coming to the end of their contracts.

“We have lost Toto (Nsiala) and Jake (Carroll). And we have brought Sean (Kavanagh) in, who is cover for Jake really.

“January can be a weird window.”

The Mail understands that Pools are edging closer to get yet another January deal over the line, having already added Kavanagh and former Sheffield Wednesday frontman Devante Rodney to their ranks.

Depending on a number of factors, the deal could even be done today, with the club facing a race against time to finalise things ahead of the trip to Crawley.

When asked whether he has a number in mind in reference to players coming in this month, Hignett said: “I don’t have a set number. A lot depends on the outgoings.”

Although, should he need reinforcements, he says the club are ready to act.

“The chairman has been fine when I have asked him about anything,” said Hignett.

“If someone comes up that we like then all I can do is go and ask.

“It is then up to the chairman and the people who own the club to decide whether we can afford it.

“If we can then I am sure we will do something. If we can’t then we won’t.”

Available players are not really in short supply, even though January is seen by managers as a traditionally difficult month to do business.

Hignett, who confirmed Brad Fewster’s potential arrival from Middlesbrough, says Pools have to be clever with their dealings though, especially when it comes to loan players.

“I have got a lot of people who are willing to help us,” Hignett said of offers of players from other managers.

“But I have to be careful because you are only allowed five.

“We have Sean here and possibly a deal for Fewster when he is fit. There is two gone already.

“We are looking at another one who may well come in as cover. So there is three.

“We want a striker - if one is available permanent then we will look at it otherwise we look at a loan.”