Hartlepool chairman lifts lid on January transfer business

Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall
Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall

Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall insists he is "satisfied" with the club's January transfer business - even though he was frustrated some deals didn't come off.

Pools signed winger Nathan Thomas on a permanent deal from Mansfield, strikers Luke James and Ellis Harrison on loan from Peterborough United and Bristol Rovers respectively, and midfielder Josh Laurent on a free.

But as revealed by SportMail, Pools missed out on Oxford United striker Danny Hylton, Stockport forward Kristian Dennis, Oldham Athletic striker Rhys Murphy, midfielder Nigel Atangana and former midfielder Gary Liddle.

But despite missing out on those signings, Coxall insists he is content with the work done in the January transfer window.

Coxall said: "Although we are satisfied with the work we’ve been able to complete during the transfer window, there is some frustration that some of the other deals we’d been striving for didn’t come off.

"Our whole ambition when the transfer window opened was to simply tweak our squad rather than make massive purchases but we did do a significant amount of work behind the scenes to bolster our numbers.

"As Ronnie [Moore] has said in the press, we made several very good and genuine offers for players who we all believed would be able to come here and improve our squad but we just weren’t able to quite get the deals over them line."

The biggest signing of the window was the loan capture of former striker James from League One side Peterborough on a loan deal until the end of the season.

James left Pools in 2014 under a cloud after leaving on deadline day following a summer-long pursuit by Posh.

But Coxall said the criticism of James was unfair and he has backed the 21-year-old to hit the goal trail for Pools.

"We were all extremely pleased to be able to do a deal to bring Luke James back to Victoria Park and I personally believe he will be a great signing for us," added Coxall.

"The conditions under which he left the club in the first place to go to Peterborough United in 2014 were not completely as reported and I think there were a lot of things unfairly laid at Luke’s door when other things going on and decisions made in the background were kept silent.

"This is a brand new start for Luke though; he showed us exactly the kind of appetite to play for us that we were looking for and I can tell by speaking to him how genuinely excited he is to pull on the Pools shirt again.

"Luke actually turned down the chance to join two clubs in League Two and another in League One in order to come back and play for Pools so let’s all get right behind him.

"Later on deadline day we were also able to do a deal to sign exciting, young midfielder Josh Laurent after he had been released by Brentford.

"I know a lot about Josh and, at 20, I am certain he has a very bright future ahead of him in the game.

"To be able to bring Josh to the club shows our ambitions because there was interest from other Championship clubs before we made our move to bring him to The Vic."

Meanwhile, Coxall has also confirmed plans to provide free travel to fans for the remaining away games of the 2015-16 campaign.

Coxall added: "As a thank you to supporters for their backing and patience throughout the season, I have said we will organise free transport for fans to the remaining away games in 2015-16.

"We truly appreciate the loyalty you show to us and we wanted to do something to pay you back.

"Whilst it’s too short-notice to get things up and running for Saturday’s game at Notts County, we will be looking to work with the Supporters’ Association to organise in time for our trip to Luton Town at the end of the month," he added in a statement on the club's website.