Hartlepool United’s Neale Cooper axes Stephen Wright to fund striker swoop

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HARTLEPOOL United have sacrificed Stephen Wright in a bid to free up funds for a new striker, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The 31-year-old ex-Sunderland right-back has failed to win an extension to a short-term deal he signed in September.

The fact that Wright has not played since suffering an Achilles problem in November was a factor in Pools’ decision.

Boss Neale Cooper said: “It was a hard one for us because I’ve been told Stephen had done very well when he played.

“We thought about the fact he’s not been available for a wee while, but more importantly we need to release finances.

“In a perfect world, I would have kept him.

“But I need funds to bring in a striker and that is what we’re trying to do.”

Cooper hopes to tie up a loan for a striker in the next week.

Wright, who turns 32 next month, will continue to train with Pools until he finds a new club.

Meanwhile, Pools’ reserves return to action at Gateshead tonight (7pm). Colin Nish, fir after a long-term knee problem, Adam Boyd and ex-Sunderland winger Nathan Luscombe could all feature.

H Rochdale have appointed John Coleman as their new manager, following the Merseysider’s 13-year spell in charge of Accrington Stanley. Coleman succeeds Steve Eyre at Spotland, with a derby debut against Bury on Saturday.

H Stevenage todayconfirmed the appointment of Gary Smith as their new manager.

 The npower League One club, who strengthened their play-off position with a 4-2 win over MK Dons last night under the guidance of caretaker boss Mark Roberts, turned to former Colorado Rapids coach Smith following Graham Westley’s departure for Preston earlier this month.