Neale Cooper believes Ryan Noble and Steve Howard can lift Pools

Steve Howard plays the ball on as Pools look to attack. Picture by FRANK REID
Steve Howard plays the ball on as Pools look to attack. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper is hoping that Ryan Noble and Steve Howard will form a striking partnership to revive Hartlepool United’s season.

The Scot has completed the re-signing of the 20-year-old Sunderland striker on a one-month loan deal and he went straight into the squad for today’s trip to Crewe Alexandra.

And Noble – a lifelong Black Cats follower – will now be paired with Newcastle United fan Howard over the coming weeks, and Cooper is expecting the North-East duo to hit it off.

“I think Ryan will really thrive playing off big Steve Howard,” said the Pools chief.

“We need to get in and around Steve more.

“He will create goals for others, as well as score them, and we have to make better use of him.”

And Cooper, who watched Noble score twice for Sunderland’s reserves this week, is thrilled to have finally landed the former England youth international having been impressed with him during a nine-game loan stay last season.

“I’ve always said that I’d love to have Ryan back,” he went on.

“When he was here last season he fitted in so well with the lads and I really took a shine to him.

“He’s a winner and wants to get the best out of himself.

“I’ve been after him for a long time but we had to see what the situation at Sunderland was, and I must thank them for their help.

“So I can’t wait to see him in action.

“I think he’ll be a better player than he was last year with us and he will give us a lift.”