Hartlepool Utd boss admits he would like to add to his squad

Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID
Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper admits that he would still like to add to his Hartlepool United squad – but for now his hands are tied.

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play ruling – implemented in the Football League this season – means that clubs can only spend a certain percentage of their revenue on wages.

Cooper is well aware of this restriction and is nonetheless thrilled with the three players – Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton and Steve Howard – he has brought in over the summer.

However, the Scot has long since stated his determination to stamp his own mark on this season’s team, and told SportMail he still sees room for improvement.

“I’m happy with where we’re at,” Cooper said on the eve of tomorrow’s League Cup curtain-raiser at Crewe Alexandra (kick off 3pm).

“I let a lot go at the start of the summer and I thought it was time to change a few things, which I couldn’t really do during last season.

“I’ve added three boys who I think will be really strong for the team and they’ve fitted in well – they will be major players for us.

“In a perfect world I’d probably like to get two or three more and agents are on the phone all of the time.

“But this rule has come in and you have to work within a percentage of the revenue generated by the club.”

One player who has been on trial with Pools during the past two weeks is former Middlesbrough winger Nathan Porritt, although it appears unlikely he will be offered a deal in the near future.

That, though, will be the case with any potential target until others head in the opposite direction.

And Cooper explained: “It’s a bid hard now because we’re salary-capped and you can only spend what you bring in - that’s the way football is going.

“Maybe. in time, if one or two aren’t featuring, they could leave.

“But you don’t know in the next month what could happen, there might still be movement in the transfer market.

“I wouldn’t say it’s finished but at this moment in time there won’t be anything.

“And I’m okay with that.

“I look at our squad and we’ve got options and we’ve got a great bunch who I think will do well this season.

“But ask any manager if he’d like to bring in more players and the answer will always be ‘yes’.”