Wadsworth closes in on loan defender

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HARTLEPOOL United boss Mick Wadsworth looks set to make his first signing of the January transfer window this week after skipper Sam Collins was ruled out of Saturday’s game at home to Dagenham and Redbridge, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The Pools boss took a closer look at a young centre-back, currently on the books of a Championship club, during the reserves’ 6-0 friendly victory at Northern League club Horden CW last night.

And Wadsworth will now attempt to seal a loan deal for the 6ft 4in defender in time for the weekend. “We don’t want to say too much just yet, but we’re working at a deal,” he said.

“It’s not easy to do things quickly, but we’ve had a centre-half in who I like the look of so we’ll see what happens.”

Collins is still struggling with a knee injury picked up in the 4-2 victory over Oldham on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, Wadsworth was delighted to finally see Pools’ second-string enjoy a competitive run-out at Horden.

Michael Mackay (2), Colin Larkin (2), Fabian Yantorno and youth-team striker Callum Hassan were among the goals.

Wadsworth said: “It was really helpful to have the game and we must thank Horden and Brian Honour. We got players on the pitch who haven’t had too much time out there in recent months.

“I thought Horden started well and they’re a bright, young team.

“As expected we wore them down as the game went on, but I thought they played some fast, attacking stuff. It was a good game and, in the end, we scored some good goals and played some decent stuff ourselves.”

Keepers Scott Flinders and Andy Rafferty enjoyed their first taste of football since September having both recovered from hand injuries.