Hartlepool boss in race against time to replace Cambridge United loanee

Ryan Bird in action for Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID
Ryan Bird in action for Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

RONNIE Moore is facing a race against time to find a new striker after in-form Ryan Bird was recalled by parent club Cambridge United.

Moore has revealed he has “three or four” names on his wanted list after Cambridge – who Pools play at Victoria Park on Saturday – took the option to recall Bird after his month-long loan spell.

The hardworking 27-year-old netted two goals in six appearances and had impressed up front, helping the side record three consecutive wins.

But Moore is now faced with replacing him ahead of the emergency loan window closing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Scunthorpe United manager Mark Robins has admitted he is considering bringing David Mirfin back to the Iron following his side’s latest defeat.

Robins is under pressure from his own fans to recall popular Mirfin, although Robins said while he is thinking about it, he should have enough within his current squad to cope.

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.

Ronnie Moore, Pools manager

Moore had hoped to extend Bird’s loan deal but with Cambridge sitting in 18th and still not yet out of danger, they took the decision to recall Bird, who revealed the news on Twitter, to the Abbey Stadium.

“They’ve got a couple of injuries down there now so they’ve decided to call him back,” said Moore, who was watching Sheffield Wednesday’s U-21s take on Charlton Athletic yesterday.

“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.”

Bird tweeted: “The decision for me to stay was totally out of (my) 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.”

With Scott Fenwick still a fortnight away from starting training again, Moore has few other options to pick from out of his current forwards.

Moore has Marlon Harewood, Jonathan Franks and Connor Smith as options up front, while out of favour Marvin Morgan could come back into the squad.

The Pools boss could also do without losing one of his best defenders, on-loan Mirfin, who has excelled since joining from the Iron.

But Scunthorpe were beaten 3-1 by Rochdale at the weekend, leaving their defence under scrutiny.

There is an instant recall option on Mirfin’s loan and the centre back has been in outstanding form since arriving at basement side Pools, helping keep three clean sheets in a week.

Robins admitted: “There are a couple of things to consider when bringing David back and it is certainly an argument I have been weighing up.

“However, there is another element to it and that is the financial situation.

“We can’t keep spending without balancing the books but if it is the right thing we will look to do something.

“However, we should have enough in the building to take care of things.”