Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor hopeful of bringing in a defender on loan ahead of FA Cup clash at Salford City

Hartlepool United are running out of time to bring in a defender ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie at Salford City.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 10:17 am

Manager Dave Challinor is hoping to bring in a player on loan before Friday’s noon deadline or else he will have to risk his threadbare defensive line against League Two opposition.

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The Mail understands the club are close to completing a deal, but time is against them.

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Ryan Johnson of Hartlepool United in action with Torquay United's Danny Wright during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Torquay United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 31st October 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"Hopefully we can get something done in time,” Challinor told The Mail.

“The deadline is 12 o’clock today so we’re looking to get something done. At the moment it’s not over the line but hopefully we can get the paperwork sorted so we have a body in the building which will certainly help us.

“It will be a loan and we’ll see where we are. The difficulty at the moment is the fact that the FA Cup is this weekend and the EFL Trophy coming up, clubs in the Football League may want to rotate their squads and play players who could have potentially had an option to go out on loan so it rules a few options out for us.

"We’ve had to be a bit patient and we’ll have to see how things play out.”

In the event Pools are unable to complete a signing in time, Challinor will be forced to play the Ryan Donaldson, Lewis Cass, Ryan Johnson and David Ferguson defensive line that ended last Saturday’s 5-0 home defeat to Torquay United.

“If we don't get someone in we’ll have to think on our feet pretty quickly in terms of our personnel and how we go about it,” he added.

“We’re stretched defensively and I suppose the fact we’ve lost players through injury has just exposed the fact that we’ve got players who aren’t really defensive minded.

"It’s a tough one and if we can’t get someone in the building then the defensive unit picks itself.

"We have no real option but we’ve got to be miles better than we were last Saturday so we’ve been working on that from the start of this week.

"We worked really hard doing that so I’d expect to see improvements as we use the disappointment from last week as a learning experience.”

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