Hartlepool Utd boss searches for talent ahead of Carlisle clash

Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper

NEALE Cooper’s hunt for a new striker continues – but the Pools BOSS admits none of the players he’s been to watch have screamed out “pick me!”.

The Pools boss currently has two trialists training with the first-team squad at Maiden Castle, but both are defenders.

Consett’s Jamie Poole – a 24-year-old left-back – played the full 90 minutes for Micky Barron’s reserves at Gateshead during the week, while Whitby Town’s Ibrahim Hassan is a 23-year-old who can play at right-back or centre-half.

But a pacey centre-forward remains Cooper’s top priority and he has this week taken in reserve matches between Leeds United and Celtic as well as Sunderland’s second-string game against Bolton Wanderers.

However, none of the frontmen he has been to see have impressed, and the Pools chief is determined to make no mistake when it comes to what is likely to be his sole recruitment of the January transfer window.

“Every week we are trying, watching numerous games and I saw two games in one day this week,” he said.

“But players have to be the right one. The players here now deserve to be playing.

“I’ve made contact with people and been told of players to watch.

“But no-one has really gone out and said ‘pick me’.

“I want that feeling when I watch somebody, things have to be right.

“The fans all want to see a team that works hard and we are trying to improve the squad but players I’ve gone to watch haven’t impressed me.

“I want players who can come in and make an impact, not someone who is working back to fitness.

“They have to be ready and right for us.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail