Hartlepool Utd boss working hard to add new faces

Mikael Mandron
Mikael Mandron

HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper insists he is working hard behind the scenes to add to his squad.

Cooper has brought midfielder Tommy Miller back to the club this summer, as well as signing former Leeds United and Chelsea midfielder Michael Woods plus former Boro duo Stuart Parnaby and Matthew Bates.

He also snapped up Middlesbrough winger Ryan Brobbel and Sunderland goalkeeper Joel Dixon, both on one-month loan deals.

But while he’s pleased with the business he’s done so far, the Pools boss is keen to bolster his squad with more new faces before the end of the transfer window.

Although he is expecting stiff competition from other managers looking to do exactly the same thing.

Cooper said: “I think every manager up and down the country will be working hard, as I am.

“I’m still having conversations, but you can only go by what’s available.

“With the financial fair play rules, we have only got so much budget to play with, so then you are looking at loans etc.

“I’m the same as every other manager, I’m speaking to people, who say ‘well we’ve had this club, that club, the other club asking about XYZ’.

“We are doing the same thing we are all trying to tweak, have a look at where we feel we might be a little bit short, and try to add to it, and try to make the squad better going into the season.”

Pools have been linked with swoops for young Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron and Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess.

Burgess enjoyed a spell on loan at Victoria Park last season, and Cooper may well return for a player he knows first hand.

Cooper didn’t name names when asked about his remaining transfer targets, but made no secret of the fact that he could look to his Premier League neighbours for a helping hand.

He added: “I speak very comfortably about relationships.

“We are in the tier that we are in in the North-East, so I have made no bones about the fact I think that relationships with all three of the big North-East teams are vitally important to Hartlepool.

“I’ve worked very hard to keep those relationships strong, and will keep working hard to do that.”

Cooper believes that he has already done some good business this summer, and feels the new additions can have a big impact.

“The new lads that we have brought in so far have settled in very well,” he said.

“The players that we have brought in on a permanent basis are good players, good professionals, and obviously young Ryan [Brobbel] coming from Middlesbrough is a lively character and he sparked us on Saturday when he came on at Stevenage.