Sunderland’s Mikael Mandron linked to Hartlepool United


COLIN Cooper is looking to “freshen up” his Hartlepool United squad with new signings during the January transfer window.

The Pools boss was speaking after watching his side suffer a 3-0 defeat to Bury in Sky Bet League Two at Victoria Park, to bring to an end to Pools’ five-match unbeaten run.

Goals from Danny Mayor, Daniel Nardiello and Richard Hinds secured the three points and it leaves Pools 14th, seven points off the play-offs.

The New Year’s Day clash also marked the start of the January transfer window and Cooper said he aims to strengthen his squad.

One possible target is Sunderland’s Mikael Mandron, though the Pools gaffer was giving little away about which irons he has in the fire.

Cooper said: “I have already made one phone call about somebody I know that may be available who I think will help us.

“Whether that happens or not is not down to me but you try to make phone calls, try to get ahead of the game and see what is available and what is out there.

“Luckily for us, with Peter [Hartley] leaving for Stevenage and Stevie [Howard] retiring, hopefully there is a little bit of scope for us if we find the right people.

“But I’m not just going to bring people here for the sake of it, I’m going to bring people here who I think will make us better.

“Throughout the month of January, whether our business is done on the 1st or 31st, it doesn’t matter but we will get something done because I would suggest we need a little bit of freshness.

“The group have been great and we have some good players though and I look at the bench and I’m thinking ‘you deserve an opportunity’.

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“It is a difficult one for a manager unless I can go and get somebody that will go straight into the team and make us better.

“We are not in a position where we can just accumulate players.

“But if I can find people that I think will genuinely make us better, and I can do the business and the chairman and chief executive allow me to do it then brilliant, I’ll do it.”

One striker rumoured to be interesting Pools is Mandron, who stands at 6ft 3in and signed for the Black Cats in the summer of 2011.

The 19-year-old Frenchman, who is part of the Under-21 development squad, qualifies internationally for England and Scotland and had been playing in his homeland with Bolougne.

He had impressed for the Under-18s, earning him a promotion to the development squad, while he has also featured from the subs bench in the first team.

Cooper stressed afterwards he is looking to improve “all areas of the pitch”.

But the 46-year-old admitted: “January is a funny time and I don’t think many people like to do business and when you are in League Two all you are looking to do is reinforce.

“The loan window will re-open anyway and most of our business is done through that loan window anyway because of finance, so we’ll just see how it goes.

“If people want to put you in a corner and say ‘you have to do this and that’, I don’t. I don’t have to do anything.

“But I want to make us better and whether something comes along that makes us better, whether permanent or loan, then hopefully I will do it but I won’t do it for the sake of it.”