Hartlepool United boss Cooper looks for good neighbours

GOOD NEIGHBOURS: Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper with Jonathan Franks, signed from Middlesbrough.
GOOD NEIGHBOURS: Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper with Jonathan Franks, signed from Middlesbrough.

NEALE Cooper is keen to this summer strengthen Hartlepool United’s links with the North-East’s big three clubs – but his transfer trawl will take him further afield.

The Pools boss has already enjoyed an encouraging, hour-long meeting with Tony Mowbray at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe training ground.

And he will now approach both Newcastle United and Sunderland in a bid to set up similar face-to-face discussions.

“I don’t think relationships with the other clubs have been done enough at this club and it wasn’t when I was here last time,” Cooper told SportMail.

“If we can speak face to face and meet up, all the better.

“It was great to meet Tony, he’s a total gentleman and I enjoyed it.

“It was funny because when we were chatting we realised that we both had similar problems – creating chances and scoring goals.

“But his ideas are positive and good. I listened to his problems and he listened to mine. I enjoyed it and I hope he did.

“It’s nice to talk to fellow coaches and I think it’s important in this area to have that relationship.

“If we can meet up with the other clubs then that would be great.

“I know John Carver (assistant manager) at Newcastle and it would be nice to get five minutes with Mr (Alan) Pardew.

“We had Ryan Noble on loan here from Sunderland as well and we speak to them regularly.”

It is the loan system which Cooper hopes to take advantage of with regards Pools’ northern neighbours.

He was shocked to find two of Boro’s young players – recent signing Jonathan Franks and Jonathan Grounds – on loan at Somerset club Yeovil Town last season.

And he went on: “Middlesbrough sent two players on loan down to Yeovil, two players I liked at the time as well.

“Why were those boys having to go all that way when we’re on their doorstep?

“So if Newcastle have players to go out on loan, can we have a chance?

“Sunderland were very happy with Ryan being here and that was good.”