Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison has full squad but wants more players

Jonathan Franks takes part in Hartlepool United's special training day at their Durham  training ground. Picture by FRANK REID.
Jonathan Franks takes part in Hartlepool United's special training day at their Durham training ground. Picture by FRANK REID.

Craig Harrison is excited to have a full squad at his disposal – but that will not stop him trying to bring a couple more new players.

With Rhys Oates winning his fitness battle and Devante Rodney having played his first minutes of pre-season, Hartlepool United look like having a clean bill of health.

I’ll always be looking to strengthen, to make our team better or give our team something we haven’t got

CRAIG HARRISON

Harrison is hoping to make two more signings, with trial pair Jonathan Franks and Lewis Maloney, who shone in the 1-1 draw at Whitley Bay, as candidates for permanent contracts.

Franks would add to his frontline options while Maloney is a midfielder, an area already highly-stocked with players.

Pools do need a centre-half, though Harrison could use the loan market.

“I’d like to bring two more in and think I will do before the season starts,” explained Harrison. “That’s an on-going project.

“I’m always looking to strengthen, whenever I can – whether that’s midway through the season, at Christmas, whenever.

“I’ll always be looking to strengthen, to make our team better or give our team something we haven’t got, a different dimension.

“I’m very big on competition for places.”

Harrison makes no apology for wanting to grow his squad, despite having everyone fit for Saturday’s National League curtain-raiser with Dover Athletic.

He is happy to have a tough selection process to negotiate.

The 39-year-old has too many players for too few shirts.

“Hopefully, everyone will be fit,” he said. “It’s looking that way, then it will be a big dilemma for me and the coaching staff on Friday when we chew the fat.

“We’ll see who’s going to start the game and who’ll be on the bench, because we’ll only have five subs in the National League.

“There are going to be three or four senior players who are going to be disappointed.

“That’s football, but we are going to need them to be positive and to be ready for when their opportunity comes.”

While Harrison is braced for some long faces on Friday, he will not tolerate glum faces for long, insisting all his players will feature at some juncture.

“I don’t want sulkers – that’s the last thing I want here,” he said.

“We could play up to 55 games this season and there is no way in modern-day football that any player can play all 55 matches.

“It’s impossible physically and you have suspensions and the like coming into it.

“Everyone is going to be needed at some point.

“When the games are tough and tight, it is the subs who can make an impact, that’s what I’m going to need.”