Paul Hartley's transfer message after Hartlepool United's crushing opening day defeat to Walsall

Paul Hartley admits Hartlepool United’s crushing opening day defeat at Walsall does not change his plans when it comes to the transfer market.

By Joe Ramage
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 8:00 am

Pools were well beaten at the Poundland Bescot Stadium with Danny Johnson’s hat-trick helping the Saddlers to a comfortable 4-0 win over Hartley’s side.

The Pools boss has reiterated he remains keen to strengthen his squad, having named six of a possible seven substitutes against Walsall, but will not be reactionary despite a hugely disappointing start to the new season.

“No, I was going to try and bring some more players in anyway, that was the plan. That will still be the plan,” Hartley told The Mail.

Paul Hartley says the defeat at Walsall won't change his transfer approach. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“The game didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, but we know there’s a lot of hard work to be done here. We aren’t stupid.”

Hartley has already made 13 new additions to his squad, with eight of those making their debut against Michael Flynn’s side. But it was an afternoon to forget for most.

The Pools boss admitted to being 'shocked' by the level of performance from his side in the defeat before accepting things have got to be much better moving forward.

But having drawn a blank in the opening game of the season, Hartley will have only been convinced further by the need to add more reinforcements in the final third.

“It’s hard to put a number on it,” Hartley said when asked how many players he still needs.

“We know the top end of the pitch is really important for us because we didn't look a threat today whatsoever.”