Hartlepool Utd boss still hopeful on loan signings

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper against Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper against Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is remaining positive despite two loan signings he hoped would bolster his squad falling through at the last minute.

Cooper wanted to add the players to his thread-bare squad ahead of the goalless draw with Tranmere Rovers at Victoria Park on Saturday.

But the deals fell at the final hurdle on Friday.

Speaking after the match, Cooper was refusing to be frustrated by the situation.

Instead, he said the club will keep trying to bring much-needed fresh blood into the squad, which faces long away trips to Northampton Town on Tuesday night and Plymouth Argyle Saturday.

Cooper said: “Again we will keep trying and the couple that we thought we might be getting through the door have fallen away at the last minute.

“That’s life and I have to accept that.

“So we keep making phone calls and keep trying and see what happens.

“If it doesn’t happen, then the most important thing is to make sure the players that we do have here at the football club are ready for a long, hard week.

“The most important thing is to have the confidence and belief and there is nothing stopping us going to Northampton and Plymouth and coming home with something.”

The Sky Bet League Two club is yet to replace striker Luke James, last season’s top scorer, who secured a deadline day switch to League One side Peterborough United.

Cooper has said previously he will be looking to the loan market in the short term and had thought two deals were in place - one of which was for a goalkeeper to provide cover for Scott Flinders after Andy Rafferty left the club last month.

Sunderland youngster Joel Dixon had been at the club on an emergency loan deal and that arrangement was expected to be extended but it never materialised, instead youth keeper Jonathan Barber was named on the bench at the weekend.

Asked if the two loan deals that collapsed can be resurrected, Cooper told SportMail: “I don’t know, that is not up to me.

“The loan deals we thought we had in place didn’t happen, you move on.

“You can’t help it, that’s life.

“The pluses and misuses of the loan window is you might enquire and things might look as though they are progressing and then all of a sudden it doesn’t happen - all you can do is move on.”

Pools - who are in desperate need of reinforcements up front - have been strongly linked with loan moves for Sunderland duo Mikael Mandron and Duncan Watmore and Middlesbrough striker Bradley Fewster.

Sunderland are in no rush to sanction a loan departure for in-demand winger Duncan Watmore.

Watmore has a lengthy list of admirers after the former Altrincham man has shone for Sunderland Under-21s since arriving at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland are currently keen for the 20-year-old to continue training alongside the first-team squad.

But Boro boss Aitor Karanka has confirmed the Championship side is looking to get 18-year-old Fewster out on loan, which will come as a boost to Pools.

Fewster, who marked his England Under-19 debut with a goal in Germany last week, is likely to have a host of clubs interested in securing him on a temporary basis.

Karanka has said: “For his development I think it will be good to send him on loan to train with senior footballers, to play against teams in front of a crowd.

“So I think for him it will be good step to go out on loan but we have to be sure which team we are going to choose because he has to go on loan to play.”