Hartlepool United’s Cooper hopes to extend loan deals

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HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper will this week attempt to tie down longer deals for on-loan stars Luke Williams and Jack Barmby.

Middlesbrough forward Williams has been a revelation since joining Pools for a month, impressing in all four matches he has started, including the 2-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at the weekend.

The 20-year-old scored his first goal for the Sky Bet League Two club against the Daggers with a dipping 30-yard deflected volley.

Williams has quickly become a firm crowd favourite and Cooper has said he would love to tie the Middlesbrough-born forward down for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, highly rated 19-year-old Barmby – on loan from Manchester United – has also impressed in a blue and white shirt, although he didn’t make it off the bench in the weekend wins.

Both Williams and Barmby, son of former England international Nick, initially signed on for a month but their deals finish after the League Two match away to Northampton Town on Saturday, February 22.

Cooper will aim to speak with officials at the players’ parent clubs with a view to extending their deals

He said: “I was down at Middlesbrough last week watching an Under-21 game and I will be having conversations with the people down at Boro.

“Also, I’ll hopefully be making contact with Warren Joyce (Manchester United under-21 coach) this week regarding Jack.”

“Jack was disappointed not to get on against Dagenham and Redbridge and we huffed and puffed over whether to start with him or bring him on later on in the game.

“On this occasion, as disappointed as he was, it has been proved that we got the decision OK.

“It depends when you look at the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses and it could be Jack’s opportunity this week.”

Both Williams and Barmby are England youth internationals and Cooper has previously said the Clarence Road club is “lucky” to have the pair within their ranks.

Since capturing the youngsters on loan, Cooper has maintained he would like to keep them longer than their initial month-long deals because they add “class and freshness” to the Pools camp.

Forward Williams has impressed playing in the Number 10 role behind the front pairing of Marlon Harewood and 19-year-old top scorer Luke James, who has 12 goals to his name.

While, Barmby has made one start and two sub appearances, including scoring against York City on his Pools and Football League debut.

Cooper added: “The longer we can keep them both here does add a freshness but I’m also asking people to raise their standards and when you see them two players, that is a high standard of football.”

Pools, currently 11th in League Two, take on eighth-placed Newport County at Victoria Park this Saturday buoyed by the weekend victory over Wayne Burnett’s Daggers.