SAM Collins has praised the impact that loan stars Luke Williams and Jack Barmby have had on revitalising Hartlepool United.
Williams and Barmby are both currently enjoying a month-long loan spell at Victoria Park from their parent clubs, Middlesbrough and Manchester United respectively.
Prior to their arrival Pools had lost three games on the bounce but since they pitched up, the team has taken seven points from 12, with three clean sheets to boot.
Both have impressed in the matches they have played, with 20-year-old Williams playing all four since signing for the Sky Bet League Two club.
The forward has played in the “hole” – just behind strikers Luke James and Marlon Harewood – and he has been an instant hit with his quick feet, creative flair and killer instinct.
Williams scored his first goal for the club in the 2-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge, a well-executed volley from 30-yards that took a deflection before dipping into the net over the keeper to give Pools the lead.
Meanwhile, Barmby, 19, didn’t get off the bench in the Daggers victory but has looked impressive during his previous appearances, including a fantastic goal in the 2-0 win over York City on his Pools and Football League debut.
Both players have caught the eye of manager Colin Cooper and their impact hasn’t gone unnoticed on the terraces or inside the
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dressing room as well.
Collins, who was captain against the Daggers, said: “The two lads on loan have done great, they have been a different class.
“Jack coming from Manchester United and Luke from Middlesbrough have shown tremendous ability.
“Jack obviously didn’t play against Dagenham but to be fair the gaffer has been good, giving them a little taste and then bringing them out of the first team again.
“Luke is a little bit older, a little bit more experienced and you can see that in the way that he plays.
“He is different class and is a really good player.”
The Pools gaffer said after the Daggers victory that he would be looking to tie down both players on longer term loan deals from their parent clubs.
Williams, in particular, has become a terrace favourite, and he is well known to Cooper, the pair having worked with each other at Middlesbrough’s Academy prior to the former defender getting the manager’s job at The Vic.
Cooper plans to hold talks with Boro manager Aitor Karanka and Middlesbrough chief executive Neil Bausor about Williams and also with Warren Joyce, Manchester United’s under-21 coach regarding Barmby, the son of former England international Nick.
The month-long loans of both players, signed during the January transfer window, will come to an end after the League Two match away to Northampton Town on Saturday, February 22.
Cooper is hoping to have tied up new deals before then for the pair, who are both England youth internationals.