Paul Baker wants to help Hartlepool United make positive start to new season

Paul Baker
Paul Baker

PAUL Baker wants to help Hartlepool United see through their summer transfer business before the season kicks off – insisting a good start is imperative.

The Pools legend was installed as the club’s new chief scout and head of youth recruitment last week and will today continue his immediate task of aiding Neale Cooper in their search for new players.

There is still just under seven weeks until the League One campaign gets underway and ample time to bring in the “four or five” players Cooper craves.

And Baker believes that, with the right additions, Pools have the potential to challenge at the top end of the third tier this season.

“I saw a few games here last year and around League One and it’s the sort of league where everyone has a chance,” the 49-year-old told SportMail.

“There are things we need to work on here and things to look at, but from what I understand the potential is there.

“But I’m a big believer in starting well from the word ‘go’.

“That’s so important, there’s no time for finding your feet.

“It’s about getting that good start and hitting the ground running.

“If you have that then there’s something to build on and it’s all about momentum.

“It’s no good playing catch up.”

Baker will be working closely with Cooper over the coming weeks in a bid to conclude deals from a list of targets which has already been identified.

And the Newcastle-born former favourite admits he’s looking forward to forging a relationship with the Scot.

“He’s very much a character,” said Baker, “The first thing he said when I walked in was ‘right then, have you got a player for me?’.

“But he’s the sort of guy who makes you feel very at ease and it’s enjoyable to be in his company.

“I know him from the first time that he was around and it’s great to work with him now.

“He knows what he wants his team to be like and it’s exciting for me to be part of helping him achieve that.”