Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison closing in on signing targets

New Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison. Picture by Kevin Brady
New Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison. Picture by Kevin Brady

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison is close to making a breakthrough in the transfer market as he looks to build a squad capable of taking on the National League.

Harrison is stepping up his focus on new recruits after speaking to the existing squad earlier this week over their futures at the club.

SportMail understands that Pools are hoping to bolster their squad in the next few days – with potentially three new signings.

Harrison is working closely alongside head of recruitment Paul Watson and the scouting staff at the club.

He is narrowing down a list of targets and going through a number of players scouted for the club under both previous regimes of Craig Hignett and Dave Jones.

But Harrison wants to bring in his own players, and has drawn up a hitlist based on his own experiences watching games when manager of Welsh side The New Saints.

Harrison said: “I’m working with Paul Watson mainly and he’s been excellent.

“There’s a good group of scouts already in place and it’s now a case of looking at targets and trying to bring some in.”

The Pools boss is believed to have already targeted a number of areas he wants to strengthen as he looks to prepare the club for life outside the Football League.

One key area is likely to be in attack, with forwards Nathan Thomas and Lewis Alessandra having already been sold to Sheffield United and Notts County respectively.

The duo were joint second-top scorers for Pools as they slipped out of League Two, and with club captain Billy Paynter also having left the club after his contract expired, the squad is in need of some extra firepower.

Pools, under Watson, have changed their recruitment approach and now have a database of potential targets from which to work from which includes reports on players in every position.

The club is looking at building a squad that has both experienced players who have performed at a good level, and young ‘assets’ who they can develop into future stars and potentially sell on in the future.

Harrison, however, has been promised a major say on players coming with the former TNS boss determined to stamp his own mark on the squad.