HARTLEPOOL United have lost their battle to keep loan striker Ryan Bird at Victoria Park.
Bird has returned to Cambridge United ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the two sides.
Pools manager Ronnie Moore had been hopeful of agreeing an extension to his loan, which expired after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.
But Bird today revealed on Twitter that he was returning to the Abbey Stadium for the rest of the campaign, leaving Moore to look to the loan market for other options.
The 27-year-old tweeted: “The decision for me to stay was totally out of hands! Good luck for the rest of the season.
“Players, Fans & Staff at HUFC, thank you for having me, it has been a pleasure, i have loved every minute of it #TheGreatEscape.”
Bird scored two goals in his six appearances for Pools, who are battling to stay in the Football League.
Moore is looking to the loan market to replace Bird.
He said: “They’ve got a couple of injuries down there now so they’ve decided to call him back.
“We’re disappointed but we have to thank Cambridge for allowing him to come here and we’ve enjoyed having him in the squad.
“Finding a striker is hard but we have three or four names on the list so it’s about getting around to watch some games and work to see what we could do.
“We have until Thursday to get someone in and the Chairman has been great in backing us to try and do it,” he told the club’s website.