A NEW striker is Hartlepool United boss Paul Murray’s number one priority this week.
Murray is expecting another busy week strengthening, particularly up front, with just four-goal Charlie Wyke and Marlon Harewood, who has scored just once, to call on.
The new boss also revealed he wants to bring in another centre-half and said one deal fell through because the player didn’t want to join a side rooted to the bottom.
Last week, he brought in midfielders Nicky Featherstone and Sidney Schmeltz, both of whom impressed in the 2-2 draw with Newport County.
“I know the areas of concern and I am working hard on putting it right,” said Murray.
“I had a striker come in last week who unfortunately was called back. He would have been great for us, but now I go back and look at other areas this coming week.
“It will be a busy week.
“I want a striker for sure, there are only two strikers at the club and there are other positions I want to fill.
“Sam [Collins] was very good, but I need another centre-half, it’s as simple as that. We thought we had one, but he doesn’t want to come to Hartlepool because of the situation we are in – that’s the reality of it.
“It’s hard to attract people when you are bottom of the league.
“But if we claw out of it and get on a little run then people will look at us as a team on the up.
“It’s been difficult for me, I’ve had to look at free agents because the squad is so young and the two lads we have brought in are 25 and 26, who have been in the game and know the game.
“If they hadn’t come in then we would have been left with Brad [Walker] and another 19-year-old in midfield, it would have been difficult against Newport and how they play.
“We are always looking, I’m watching games and trying all the time – we aren’t sitting around,” added Murray who watched Manchester City versus Everton U21 on Friday night.
Experienced midfielder Tommy Miller sat out the draw with a calf injury and he is expected to miss the FA Cup tie against East Thurrock on Saturday too.
Murray added: “Tommy will have injections in his calf this week which will progress him, he may be back the Saturday after next.”
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough winger Ryan Brobbel has returned to Boro after a loan spell at Pools.
His latest loan deal wasn’t due to finish until November 8 but he tweeted after the match that his loan deal had ended.
Brobbel tweeted: “Would like to wish Hartlepool United and all the boys the best of luck for the rest of the season really enjoyed my time at the club!!”
– RICHARD MENNEAR