HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper has revealed he has made inquiries about signing three players during the January transfer window and says he is keen to get his business done “quickly”.
Cooper was speaking after watching his side go down 3-0 to Keith Hill’s Rochdale in their Sky Bet League Two match at Victoria Park, the second successive defeat by the same margin at home.
Second-half goals from George Donnelly, Peter Cavanagh and Graham Cummins secured the win for promotion chasing Dale, who moved up to fourth while the disappointing defeat left Pools in 16th, eight points from the elusive play-off positions and now just five above the drop-zone.
Cooper, rumoured to be interested in much-travelled striker Marlon Harewood and Middlesbrough forward Luke Williams, refused to say who the three targets were but stressed he is keen to get players tied down quickly if possible.
The 46-year-old said: “Until something is signed, sealed and delivered there is nothing there but I have three things ongoing which I’d like to think could happen, but that is obviously not down to me.
“I did the work that I wanted to do but there is nothing concrete done.
“It is easy to sit here and everyone will be thinking X, Y, Z but we have put things forward that we’d like to do and sometimes you do your work and then see how they develop.
“We just have to wait and see if other people will allow that work to come to fruition.
“We have done the work, put the feelers out, we have three ongoing but until they
l TURN to Centre Pages
are over the line, they are not over the line, and that is the way football is.
“I was talking to Keith Hill afterwards and he has just had an offer for a centre forward [Scott Hogan] who has decided they don’t want to go to Peterborough.
“We haven’t had an offer for any of our players but I would like to try and freshen things up.
“With all due respect, the group that has been here has worked hard but the last two games have shown me that if we can freshen things up with one or two new faces then it would bring a freshness to the whole group.
“But I can’t say yes until they are through the door and the papers are signed.
“Monday hopefully will bring us a clearer picture.”
Rumours include Harewood and Middlesbrough forward Williams but Cooper said it wasn’t fair to name targets until deals were done.
Harewood, 34, was a handful in his early career with Forest and West Ham, but he has struggled to score regularly in his recent spells at Barnsley (two in 32 appearances) and Bristol City (none in 12) and is currently a free agent.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Williams, could be a loan target and Pools already have links with Boro following similar deals for Christian Burgess and Matty Dolan, who recently returned to the Riverside after four months at The Vic.
Cooper added: “It is not fair on individuals or clubs [to name targets].
“I want to get things over the line and quickly but I can only do that if individuals and clubs allow me to do that.
“I can’t rush them. I can ask questions and try and do things.”