Hartlepool Utd hope to keep squad intact ahead of transfer deadline

Colin Cooper on the sidelines during the game against York City. Photograph by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper on the sidelines during the game against York City. Photograph by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper has revealed he does not expect to see any of his Hartlepool United players leave before the transfer window closes on Friday.

And he doesn’t see anymore incomings after watching his side pick up their first win of 2014.

Stunning second-half goals from Luke James and debutant Jack Barmby sealed a 2-0 win over York City to the delight of Cooper, who also revealed the Sky Bet League Two club has had enquiries for its players.

But Cooper has again stressed 14th placed Pools do not need to sell.

It was a drab encounter at Victoria Park for large periods of the game but it came to life in the 82nd minute when 19-year-old James ended his barren spell without a goal with a low strike from just inside the penalty area.

That effort was bettered by Manchester United loanee Barmby who struck from the edge of the area to score his first goal for Pools on his Football League debut.

Pools’ 46-year-old manager said afterwards he was pleased with his side, which he hopes to keep intact beyond the end of the January transfer window.

Neighbours Sunderland are among several clubs keeping tabs on defender Jack Baldwin and top-scorer James but Cooper wouldn’t confirm who the interest from other clubs has been in.

When asked if he was confident Pools would keep the squad together, Trimdon-born Cooper said: “We have had phone calls, I’m not going to lie.

“The one thing that everyone knows is that we don’t need to sell players so I think we can see were things are but there are only five days left and I would be very surprised if somebody picked up the phone.

“Listen, at the end of the day you see the performances from some of our younger players, the ones that we know are attracting attention, and whether that phone rings in the next five days I don’t know, that is up to the other clubs.

“But I don’t have to sell players. I just think it is great for Hartlepool that we have players who people actually want to pay good money for.

“That is a shot in the arm for the lads and the way that they conduct themselves and this football club.

“I think we have some real saleable assets if we choose to but I had a long conversation with the chairman at the end of the budget meeting last Monday and we don’t have to sell anybody because of the way that the club is run.

“But it is a shot in the arm that we do have a lot of people that really do want some of our players.”

Cooper is also not expecting to do anymore business himself before the permanent transfer window slams shut, although the loan window will remain an option to Pools.

Will there be any more activity before Friday?

“No, I think my bucket is empty. Well, almost empty,”

l TURN to Centre Pages

added Cooper who was delighted with the three points against York and he said his side’s quality shone through against the Minstermen.

Cooper added: “York have been strong of late and not giving much away to teams.

“So the message beforehand was that we had to stay in the game and if we’re going to win it might take us 50, 60, 70 minutes – as it turned out it’s taken us 80 minutes plus.

“I am really pleased for Luke because it was harsh on him at Fleetwood last week to come off so early but in all fairness he’s got his head down and grafted and I think he’s just really pleased to get his goal.

“He felt as though it has been a long time since his 10th.”