Colin Cooper will keep looking for players as Hartlepool United wait to see if Luke James turns up

STILL TRYING: Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper
STILL TRYING: Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper

COLIN Cooper won’t stop working to bring in more players to Hartlepool United – only if they will improve the squad.

Pools were back to work at Maiden Castle today after being given Bank Holiday Monday off after a busy opening three weeks to the season.

Cooper, though, has been continuing his search of adding further reinforcements to his side, which picked up their first league win at the weekend.

The 2-1 victory at Wimbledon was a much-needed one after a miserable start to the season, which had seen Pools lose their opening four matches in the league and cup.

But while three points has raised confidence and spirits Cooper admits his side is still lacking in depth, despite last week’s loan signings of Sunderland defender Scott Harrison and Middlesbrough striker Charlie Wyke.

Asked whether there would be further signings this week, Cooper told SportMail: “I am working and I won’t stop working.

“We brought in two loan signings last week and despite what people may, or may not think, my phone is forever buzzing and I am forever calling people trying to think is there anything I can do.

“You never know and again we rely on parent clubs for things to happen, but it’s not for the want of trying.

“I still think we are a little light on numbers but there’s no point in bringing players in if they are not going to improve what you have got.”

The squad was back at Durham training today and Cooper was hoping to see star striker Luke James among the players.

The 19-year-old hadn’t been seen by anyone at the club since the 2-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge last Tuesday.

He failed to show at training last Thursday and Friday and missed the trip south to Wimbledon.

Cooper says he is within his rights to fine the want-a-way striker, who has been the subject of a rejected bid from Peterborough United ahead of the transfer window closing on Monday, September 1.

SportMail understands no decision has yet been taken on whether James will be punished.

Posh have also been heavily linked with moves for Gateshead forward Marcus Maddison and Inverness striker Billy McKay.

If the League One side did turn their attentions elsewhere then James could be left in an awkward position if he continues to stay away from the Vic.

Cooper and the club’s hierarchy will be hoping to resolve the situation one way or another quickly, so it doesn’t continue to cast a lingering shadow over the start of the season.

The Pools boss gave the squad Bank Holiday Monday off as they were in need of an extra rest day.

The opening few weeks has seen Pools play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and Cooper believes a break will do them good.

“It has been a busy start to the season,” Cooper told SportMail.

“It’s been a hard start,” he said. “The players have been working really hard –despite what some may think – and they deserve the extra rest day.

“We re-group today and prepare for Cheltenham on Saturday. The result at Wimbledon starts our season off.”