Striker search is still the main priority for Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates

Jake Cassidy celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Woking last season.
Jake Cassidy celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Woking last season.

Every team wants one, but so few can find them.

While Twitter may be flooded with messages of ‘sign a striker’, the reality is that finding one is far from an easy task.

But it’s undoubtedly a position that Hartlepool United need to address in the coming weeks and one which Matthew Bates has likely identified as a priority.

The need for a new frontman was emphasised during Pools’ draw with Billingham on Saturday where the game followed an all-too familiar story.

Plenty of chances created, but not enough converted.

In fairness to Pools’ attackers, it was their first outing of pre-season and match sharpness will still be a long way off.

A couple of weeks down the line, such chances might be finished without a second glance. Such sharpness will come naturally with increased game time.

However, Pools still need a striker – especially if Bates is to opt for a slightly different tactical approach this season.

Playing three at the back looked to suit Pools during the first half at Billingham and it’s likely that the boss will opt to continue with that system in other pre-season games.

The 3-5-2 that Bates is keen to use relies on two sole strikers leading the line and feeding off the chances created by the attacking wing-backs.

If it becomes the manager’s go-to formation then he will require some attacking reinforcements, with only two strikers currently on the books.

And one of those – Jake Cassidy – remains transfer listed.

His strike partner Niko Muir looked impressive in his first outing – his pace and power made him a handful and he could prove to be a regular goalscorer.

But it’s unfair for any striker, let alone one who is fairly inexperienced in the division, to shoulder the majority of the goal-scoring burden.

If Cassidy does remain at Victoria Park then that is something of a solution. He knows where the back of the net is and would ensure that Muir has a partner to share attacking responsibility with.

Yet still, even if the former Wolves man stays at the Vic, Pools would be prudent to add another frontman.

With Muir and Cassidy comfortable playing with their backs to goal, a pacy attacker who could feed off them would fit the bill.

Such strikers, though, come at a cost.

Whether that be in the form of a transfer fee or wages, good strikers are always in high-demand and always command some significant financial outlay.

That means that any purchase needs to be well-calculated. There are countless examples of clubs splashing the cash only to find themselves saddled with a disappointing recruit.

Patience, therefore, may be required in this striker hunt. It’s vital that Pools take their time to sign the right man rather than panic-buy a striker who fails to deliver in front of goal.

Fans have every right to push for the recruitment of a new striker – after all, it’s the one position that stands out as needing strengthened this summer.

However, good deals take time and good strikers can take some convincing to join a club.

But here’s hoping that once Bates does seal a striker’s signature, Twitter is flooded with a similar volume of messages praising an excellent bit of business.