Colin Cooper knows he must be patient to add new faces to Hartlepool United squad

PATIENT: Colin Cooper during the game against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID
PATIENT: Colin Cooper during the game against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper insists he is doing all he can to add new faces to his Hartlepool United squad which he knows is too small.

But the patient Pools manager said he is faced with transfer targets not wanting to commit until the last minute.

Cooper is keen to add a further four new signings to his Sky Bet League Two squad, with a mix of loan and permanent signings, before the season kicks off away to Stevenage on August 9.

An experienced midfielder is one area he is looking to strengthen and former Premier League midfielders Jonathan Greening and David Prutton are on his radar, with the former the more likely to sign.

One experienced midfielder currently training with the club, ex-Poolie Tommy Miller, played in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Whitby Town and a decision on his future could be made within the next 48-hours.

But on his other targets, Cooper told SportMail: “We have calls in and we have people currently umming and ahhing.

“But the honest truth about the transfer window is that people don’t want to commit until as late as possible.

“Without any disrespect, we are where we are geographically and in terms of the league pyramid.

“I had a lot of targets on the board over the summer and so far I have acquired two from that list [Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby] so I am happy with that.

“If I can pick another one off, then I will really have done pretty well on that target list.

“Other than that, we have work ongoing in the background.

“In terms of the loan window, Championship and Premier League clubs will want their players placing before the season kicks-off.

“I would suggest, therefore, that players will start to commit in the next 10 days and then we will have some decisions one way or another and hopefully some new additions.”

Cooper knows all to well that is squad is too small.

The former Middlesbrough defender added: “Up until the point were we have 23, 24 or 25 players to pick from, then the group is what it is.

“We are 20, 21 players maximum at the moment and that includes two under 18s and a first year professional.

“We are still thin on the ground but while I can stand here and say I want to get some business done, the reality is the business will get done when it gets done.

“I can’t force that to happen, I can make phone call after phone call, but if people don’t want to commit then they don’t want to.”