Richard Mennear’s Hartlepool United comment: Longest day to the great escape for Ronnie Moore

BUSY BOY: Ronnie Moore
BUSY BOY: Ronnie Moore

TWO years ago transfer deadline day didn’t even register at Hartlepool United.

That changed in January 2014 when Pools sold Jack Baldwin to Peterborough United at the very last minute and again in the summer when Luke James departed to the same club, again on deadline day.

It had become a running joke that the club would always wait until the final few minutes of the window before flogging their finest assets.

Well, yesterday’s dramatic day at Victoria Park changed all that.

Ronnie Moore had pledged to sign a striker and a defender before the window closed and he was true to his word, which came as some relief to supporters given how many times Pools were “hopeful” of making a signing in recent weeks.

The arrival of Plymouth striker Marvin Morgan was no great surprise.

SportMail had revealed his interest and as soon as the Pools boss had travelled the length of the country to watch him in action in a reserve match it was clear Morgan would be arriving.

But there was further good news to come, with David Mirfin arriving on loan from Scunthorpe United – a real experienced defender of the ilk Moore was keen to bring in.

He looks a great signing with rave reviews from the Iron end.

Mirfin will add much-needed grit and experience and also means Moore can choose to play 3-5-2 with Mirfin, Dan Jones and Scott Harrison at the back if he so chooses. Moore is keen on adopting that formation because he believes the full-backs are more suited to playing in that formation.

At least Moore now has further options going into a crucial run of fixtures.

Harrison was the third bit of good news. The ex-Sunderland defender turning his loan deal into a permanent one and showing his commitment to the cause in the process – a great prospect and a great signing.

Pools really showed they mean business and while the ongoing ownership saga rumbles on – with discussions ongoing with the Football League – supporters can take some solace from the fact the club is signing players.

Nicky Featherstone extending his contract until the end of the season will go under the radar but at least he adds some further depth to the squad in the midfield area.

He impressed when he first arrived but a sloppy mistake away at Southend United seemed to affect his confidence. Hopefully the new contract will boost him on that front.

So, with the exception of Rakish Bingham whose return to Mansfield will be a huge loss given his rapid pace, all in all, it was a pretty successful day for Moore, who admitted it was the longest Deadline Day he’d been involved in.

If we were being greedy it would have been great to see another striker come in to replace Bingham, while talks were held involving a straight swap between Jack Compton and Andy Monkhouse, who was released by Pools in the summer and is now playing for Conference side Bristol Rovers.

That didn’t happen but there could still be further additions when the emergency loan window re-opens next Monday. Results on the pitch have picked up and the new signings have given added momentum off it.

Great Escape anyone?