Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper hopeful of new faces through the door

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper during the game against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper during the game against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper insists he is being very active in the pursuit of new players after the sale of star striker Luke James.

The 19-year-old - who netted 16 goals for Pools last season - signed for League One leaders Peterborough United on deadline day leaving fans frustrated as he hadn’t been replaced.

But Cooper insists the club can manage without James and said some business is already in place ahead of the emergency loan market re-openning on Monday.

The manager was speaking at his weekly press conference and said he understands the frustrations of supporters after a poor start to the season which sees Pools lying in 20th spot in League Two.

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony announced the signing of James live on television just 90 minutes before the deadline. Despite the deal being in place on Monday morning Pools couldn’t announce it until late evening at Peterborough’s request, with MacAnthony keen to do it live on air.

The deal for James is short of the club’s record sale - the £750,000 secured for Tommy Miller back in 2001 - but there is a sell-on clause which could give Pools a financial boost if and when James moves on.

Cooper said: “Luke going, we have lost 16 goals.

“He is a great kid, an absolute diamond to work with. He looks in your eyes and is eager to learn, but when I looked in his eyes this time he was eager to play somewhere else.

“For him it’s the excitement of the next step, for me it’s about signing players to address the balance.

“We would all be very naive if we thought it was last minute. He expressed a wish to leave early. So it was always a case of getting the right deal for Hartlepool, not if it would go through.

“From my point of view, as I said before, I am still phoning lots of people about players - both permanent and loan.

“Within Financial Fair Play regulations I am pretty much on the limit.

“We try and get players in from near and afar that will help us through and we get to January hopefully get the opportunity to bring one or two in permanently.

“As for losing players, being honest, players in League Two with the ability to play higher you don’t want to lose them, but you want to them to progress.”

The Pools manager admitted the League Two club should be proud to be producing players of James’ ilk.

Cooper added: “It makes me feel fairly proud we have produced players able to go and play at a higher level and we get recompensed.

“The down side of being a manager in League Two is the Financial Fair Play regulations are very harsh and you have to live by them.

“We have to do that, all we can do is try and get as many fit bodies through the weekend and then the loan market opens and we’ll try and get one or two bodies through the door.

“Everybody is feeling it and I feel the same frustrations but believe me it wont be for the want of trying and wanting to put a team on the pitch that the fans want to come and watch.

“I will be very active and there is hopefully some business done that will come into play next week.

“Until that happens we have to get on with the job.”

Pools currently have ex-Boro and Manchester United midfielder Jonathan Greening back training with the club. Greening, who is currently unattached, played a pre-season friendly match for Pools but then left to explore other options.

Ex-striker Callum Hassan has been at Maiden Castle this week but is just training and he is not expected to re-join the club.