Hartlepool Utd boss is looking for free agents

John Hughes on the sidelines as he takes charge of his first game for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
John Hughes on the sidelines as he takes charge of his first game for Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
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JOHN Hughes will not be adding to his Hartlepool United squad before the close of today’s loan window – but he has not ruled out the arrival of free agents in the coming weeks.

Pools are at their ceiling when it comes to the percentage of income they can spend on players’ wages.

That being the case, any loan addition would have to come in at no cost to the club, such as the deal with Middlesbrough’s Charlie Wyke.

Hughes hinted that he would have to “beg, steal and borrow” to strengthen his squad, but loan signings will now have to wait until January at the earliest.

However, the Scot could still scour the free-agent market in a bid to bolster his ranks.

“I very much doubt anyone will be coming in,” he told SportMail when asked about the loan deadline.

“That doesn’t mean to say when it closes we can’t still do business.

“There’s still one or two boys without clubs.

“But right at this moment in time we have to stick with what we’ve got and keep battling through it.

“We have to keep that spirit we showed on Tuesday night against Oldham.”

Pools were beaten 2-1 by The Latics to keep them rooted to the foot of League One, 10 points adrift of safety heading into Saturday’s away game at Walsall.

Today marks one week since Hughes first met his new players.

In that time he has undertaken as “assessment” of the club and says he has a clear idea of how he is going to bring about success.

And, in the long term, that will involve blooding the club’s younger players.

“I’ve been here seven days now and I’ve done my assessment of the club and I know how I’m going to bring success here,” he went on.

“I’m going to work hard with the kids coming through.

“If you do that you get loyalty from them and you can nurture them into the footballer you want.

“If I can give one or two the opportunity then something special might happen with them.

“That’s wont happen overnight and I ask supporters to be patient.

“But already I have a vision for where I want this club to go.”