Hartlepool United boss hopes to make progress on future of Middlesbrough loanees

Matty Dolan
Matty Dolan

HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is hoping to make progress on the short term futures of on-loan Middlesbrough duo Christian Burgess and Matty Dolan by next week at the latest, writes Richard Mennear.

Central midfielder Dolan, 20, and 22-year-old central defender Burgess have impressed in blue and white since signing loan deals from parent club, and neighbours, Boro in the summer.

But the deals for the pair are due to run out after the festive run of matches and their gaffer, a former Middlesbrough player and coach himself, is looking to meet with executives either this week or next week at the latest to extend their stays.

The 46-year-old said the pair are getting much more out of playing their football in Sky Bet League Two than they would if they went back to playing development football at the Championship side.

Dolan’s third month at Victoria Park ends after New Year’s Day while Burgess’s half-season loan also comes to a conclusion and Cooper is looking to sit down for talks with Boro manager Aitor Karanka and chief executive Neil Bausor.

Trimdon-born Cooper said: “My job this week and the week after, at the latest, is to sit down with the chief executive and hopefully Aitor Karanka and decide what we are going to do with Christian and Matthew.

“My thoughts are, I want them here as long as I can have them, if Middlesbrough are willing to let me have them.

“But if that is not the case then we need to put things in place for the New Year if Middlesbrough recall them.

“I hope they don’t and I think we have a nice relationship in place.

“The boys would only go back to development football. They are getting much more out of this than they do at development football and I know that for a fact because I have worked in it.

“They are learning to become young men rather than extending their development.

“This is men’s football and both of them have to learn how to handle this level but then express themselves as footballers and they have been taught how to handle a football.”

Hartlepool-born Dolan has 21 appearances and one goal to his name while Essex-born Burgess has appeared for Pools 25 times this season, scoring once.