COLIN Cooper has confirmed he would “love” to have either Christian Burgess or Scott Harrison back at Hartlepool United this season.
Middlesbrough defender Burgess, 22, spent the whole of last season on loan, excelling in the centre of defence with his calm but commanding performances.
Meanwhile, Sunderland centre-back Harrison, 20, was drafted in towards the end as cover but impressed in the final five matches of Sky Bet League Two.
Cooper says that he’d love to be reunited with either one of them but admits that will very much be down to what their parent clubs decide to do.
Cooper was speaking ahead of Pools’ next pre-season friendly, against Championship neighbours Boro at Victoria Park tomorrow night.
Burgess - who played 46 times for Pools last season - is expected to be in Aitor Karanka’s squad for the short trip up the A19.
Harrison, meanwhile, came on as a second-half substitute for Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side in last week’s 3-0 friendly win over Pools.
Cooper has made no secret he will be looking to the loan window to strengthen his squad and will be looking for support from Pools’ North East neighbours.
There is no guarantee Burgess would be available for loan, given he has featured in several of Boro’s first team pre-season matches so far including the 3-1 win over Rochdale at the weekend.
But it is understood he would favour a loan move back to Pools, if Boro decide he can go out on loan, although they may prefer to see him playing at a higher level.
“Christian did smashing for us last season and he got better as the season went on,” Cooper said.
“The two lads – Scott and in particular Christian – both did a great job for this football club.
“Christian is a great lad and really enjoyed his time at the club but whether he comes back is really up to Middlesbrough.
“But we have made no bones about the fact that we’d love to have Christian back, and Scott would be more than welcome back too
“From our point of view, though, the ball is in the parent clubs’ court.
“We have made lots of phone calls and enquiries about the possibility of players. You have a certain list and if you get two or three you’ve done well and we will continue to try
“I fully understand the supporters saying “are we signing anybody?”
“The fact is I want to sign players that I know are good enough to go straight into the team. That is the hard bit but we will continue to try.”
Fans can buy their tickets for the Boro friendly from the club’s ticket office with prices fixed at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. There will also be availability on the turnstiles on the night.