John Hughes has option to bring in Pools loan signing

James Poole celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Notts County. Picture by FRANK REID
James Poole celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Notts County. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes says the option is there to bring in a new loan player – but for now he looks set to keep faith in his current squad.

A rocky start to life at Victoria Park – he lost five of his first six – saw the Scot desperate for new blood in January.

But when the month passed with no acquisitions and an upturn in fortunes on the pitch, Hughes stepped back from his recruitment drive.

The loan window re-opened yesterday and Pools chief executive Russ Green has told Hughes the funds are there for at least one signing.

But the Scot told SportMail that, for now, he would rather invest his trust in his own men.

“I had to be careful with what I brought in,” he said, reflecting on last month.

“I was being offered a lot of young academy players.

“They were good players, but maybe for next year.

“I couldn’t have asked them to get us out of this situation.

“Senior pros can sometimes struggle with that expectation and pressure, let alone young boys who have never played senior football.

“So I made a conscious decision to stick with our young guys who have a feel for the club – and that’s the way it will be between now and the end of the season.”

Hughes has named the same starting XI in the last two matches, winning both, and he will again do so at Swindon Town tomorrow.

His bench has also remained unaltered, although he says those players will have a major part to play.

“Andy Monkhouse still has a massive part to play, although he’s found himself out of the team at the moment,” Hughes went on.

“I’m sure we’ll see Nathan Luscombe playing a part and then there’s Luke James – he’s like a Jack Russell when these old centre-backs are tiring late in the game and he’ll chase everything.

“I wouldn’t like to see a young guy like that coming on if I was a centre-back.”

But Hughes added: “Maybe if there is one or two going about we’ll look at it, but no matter what happens it’s up to these boys to get us out of this.

“It’s always nice to bring in one or two, but it has to be the right one.

“I spoke with Russ and he made it perfectly clear that if I find one then they can come in.”