Hartlepool Utd boss patient in pursuit of new faces after Sunderland defeat

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper walks out before the game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper walks out before the game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper admits he is having to be “patient” in his ongoing pursuit for new faces at Hartlepool United.

Speaking after the 3-0 friendly defeat to Premier League neighbours Sunderland, the Pools manager said it is easy to become frustrated at the lack of transfer activity with the Sky Bet League Two season just around the corner.

But he said there is “no point” making a decision on a player now that he may regret two or three weeks down the line.

So far, Pools have brought in just two signings, defender Matthew Bates and the versatile Stuart Parnaby, who has started the last three matches in central midfield.

Hopes to sign experienced midfielder Michael Brown were dashed when he signed for Port Vale, while fans have grown anxious with the lack of signings to replace Andy Monkhouse, Simon Walton, James Poole and Antony Sweeney who all left in the summer.

Tommy Miller, who played the full 90 minutes last night, is on trial with the club and Cooper is expected to give it at least another week before making a decision on him.

Cooper told SportMail: “You might get frustrated because everyone wants to get their squads in place.

“There may be an element of frustration but you have to have an element of patience as well.

“There is no point getting frustrated and making a decision and then further down the line thinking, ‘If only I’d waited’.

“I’m trying to cherry pick one or two that I think will benefit us.

“That in itself is hard because they have other options and I understand geographically and in the league standings, we are Hartlepool, which becomes its own little stumbling block.

“The first two signings, [Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby] were easy because they wanted to work with me and I wanted to work with them.

“The hard bit is working against agents and players who have other options and may want to explore them before deciding whether to come to Hartlepool.

“I accept it and I am not naive.

“I don’t get arsey about it, footballers want to play as high as they can for as long as they can.

“My door is open, I am looking to add some permanent signings but I will be looking to add loans to that which will probably be in the last week of pre-season.”

The Pools manager has been impressed with the impact of former Sunderland midfielder Miller, who left Pools for Ipswich Town in 2001 for a club record £750,000 and played the full 90 minutes last night.

Cooper added: “Tommy gives you a lot of enthusiasm and verve.

“He wanted to come and train with us, I said I am prepared to let him come in and find his feet and then we make a decision based on what we see.

“As a bloke I think the world of him and his fitness levels have never dropped and he has all the right attributes.

“If I feel he is the right one to bring in permanently then I have the capabilities to do that.

“I would like to think I can bring one or more two more permanent ones in and then we are down to some younger players on loan.

“He is definitely the right type of player but we will make that decision probably in a week or two, unless he wants a decision sooner if there is something else on the horizon he wants to explore.”

The club’s other trialist, former Leeds United and Chelsea youth player Michael Woods, pulled a groin in the warm-up.

Cooper said: “I’d have thrown Michael in but he pulled his groin in the warm-up, he was devastated but you can’t do much about it.”