LOAN ARRANGER – Hartlepool Utd boss may add to squad ahead of loan window closing this week

Matty Dolan in action against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Matty Dolan in action against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper isn’t ruling out bringing in reinforcements this week to help relieve the pressure on his Hartlepool United side.

Pools recorded their fourth straight league win at home on Saturday comfortably seeing off the challenge of Northampton Town 2-0 at Victoria Park thanks to a fine Luke James strike in the 23rd minute and a Simon Walton penalty after the break.

The victory, Pools’ sixth in eight league games, came at the start of another challenging week for Cooper’s squad, who face Bury at Gigg Lane in the league tomorrow night and then entertain Portsmouth at home on Saturday.

Cooper believes his side were worthy winners against the Cobblers, who prop up Sky Bet League Two.

But admitted afterwards he could look to bring in reinforcements to help relieve some of the pressure on his squad, ahead of the current loan window closing at 5pm this Thursday, November 28.

Much of that will depend on whether Pools manage to secure on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Matty Dolan for another month, after his deal expired after the weekend win.

Dolan was still due to train with the Pools squad this morning though and Cooper was expecting a definitive answer from Boro by this afternoon ahead of the game against Bury.

When asked whether there would be any incomings at The Vic, Cooper said: “We will look.

“For instance if Middlesbrough don’t take that option with Matty, then I think from our point of view we maybe need to look at something, whether it is as cover or just as an extra body.

“At this moment in time, without injuries, we only carry 25 players in the squad and that includes the two goalkeepers.

“So there is only 23 outfield players and that is very thin.

“We have young Dan Jones who is just coming back from a knee operation, so we are down to 22 outfield players, 18 of which we are using every league game.

“That only leaves four so if we lose a couple through injuries we are down to digging into that four and if that were to happen then we just have to be on the front foot.

“We have things that we may like to do but that would depend on parent clubs and not what we want to do.”

The 46-year-old is desperate to land Dolan, 20, for another month but that will depend on what new Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka thinks and Cooper said it is “only natural” that a new manager would want to assess all the players under his disposable.

The former Middlesbrough defender said: “I had a conversation with Middlesbrough last week and after their game against Leeds United, Senor Karanka and his staff were due to have a discussion about all of their Under-21 players who are out on loan.

“I have made it clear I want to extend Matthew’s deal as long as they want him to be out playing first-team football.

“That conversation has taken place and I have been assured I will get a phone call early Monday afternoon to let me know whether he is available for us on Tuesday.

“I would like that to happen but as I keep reiterating, he is Middlesbrough’s footballer.

“I want him here as long as I can have him and it is the same with Christian [Burgess] because I know the qualities that both of the lads have.

“But they are Middlesbrough players and we have to abide by their rules.

“I have put forward a strong case to let it keep rolling because they are getting some valuable experience while they are here.”