Hartlepool United signing Middlesbrough’s Brad Halliday is good bit of business ahead of Exeter City clash

Ronnie Moore says he has “searched high and low for players” – only to find a right-back on the doorstep.
Brad Halliday on loan at York CityBrad Halliday on loan at York City
Brad Halliday on loan at York City

Hartlepool United have signed Brad Halliday on a month’s loan from Middlesbrough to fill the problem right-back spot.

Halliday will make his debut at St James Park tomorrow, when Pools will be looking to end their recent miserable run of results.

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Moore wanted youth, energy and experience and he has all three in the shape of the Boro defender.

The 20-year-old, a regular for Boro in the Premier Reserve League, has extensive knowledge of League Two, having played 24 times on loan at York City last season.

“We’ve searched high and low for players,” said Moore. “You like to get some experience in obviously.

“But Brad played over 20 games for York at our level last season so that’s one of the main reasons we’ve brought him in.

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“Everyone speaks very highly of him - he’s a proper right-back with a bit of pace and the nastiness you like in a defender so I don’t feel it’s a gamble like it can be with other young players.

“This kid knows what to expect in League Two – when you’re playing the Exeters of this world he’ll know how they play in the same way he’ll know how the Cambridges of this world play, so there’ll be no shock to the system.”

Moore is without first-choice Michael Duckworth, who strained a hamstring when making a goal-saving tackle in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy tie with Sheffield United.

With his deputy, Carl Magnay, starting a three-match suspension after being sent-off at Wycombe, the Pools boss was desperate for cover, especially with the injured Jordan Richards (back) also on the sidelines.

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Duckworth would almost certainly regain his spot when fit given the form of the attack-minded player in the early weeks of the season.

But Moore is unlikely to rush him back given the nature of hamstring problems, so Halliday could stay for more than the initial four weeks.

“It’s for a month to start with because of the injuries at right-back which have been a nightmare for us,” said Moore.

“But I am sure Brad will come in and do really well for us.

“It might be hard because he’s coming in at a bit of a tough time for us defensively but I hope he can settle in quickly with the lads and show one or two how to defend.”