HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper has revealed that he has tried to help his former Middlesbrough team-mate Lee Cattermole as his exile at Sunderland continues, writes Craig Hope.
The 25-year-old has been ostracised by Black Cats manager Paolo Di Canio and was this week stripped of his favoured No.6 shirt.
Cooper has problems of his own at Victoria Park as his side venture to York City today looking for their first win of the season.
But that hasn’t stopped the former Boro favourite lending his advice to Cattermole, a player who was coming through the ranks on Teesside during the latter days of Cooper’s playing career.
“I saw Lee earlier this week – I would love to say we’re about to sign him on a four-year deal!” joked the Pools chief.
“But I have known Lee since he was 14 years old and I just tried to give him the benefit of my experience having been in a similar situation at about his age.
“Sometimes it’s about biting the bullet, getting on with your life and playing football.
“It is difficult for him though – he’s a cracking kid and a very good footballer, but he’s obviously feeling very frustrated.
“It happens in football, you get a manager which comes in and he just does not see you fitting into his plans.
“But you’ve just got to get on with things.”
Meanwhile, another player who Cooper knows well is Boro youngster Matty Dolan.
The Hartlepool-born midfielder has been in talks with his hometown club over a loan switch but is thought to be considering all options before committing to a move.
And Cooper said: “I don’t want to keep piling everything onto Matty.
“He’s a player I know and a player I like.
“We’ve spoken about him but we’ve spoken about a lot of players, those calls and conversations are happening all of the time.”
H Middlesbrough have signed former Hartlepool United will goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos on a short-term deal.
The 34-year-old had been linked with a return to Victoria Park should Scott Flinders have moved on from the League Two club before the end of the transfer window.
But Konstantopoulos yesterday signed a deal with Tony Mowbray’s Championship side and will remain on Teesside until at least January.
The Greek signed for Pools in 2003 after a successful trial period and made the number one shirt his own when he replaced Jim Provett between the sticks.
Konstantopolous made 117 appearances for Pools and became a terrace favourite after a string of impressive displays before moving to Coventry.
Capped once by Greece and with nine under-21 caps to his name, Konstantopolous is expected to act as cover for Mowbray’s regular shot-stopper Jason Steele.