Cooper closes in on Hartlepool loan signings

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper
Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper
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COLIN Cooper insists he is being “very active” in the pursuit of new players and is hopeful of securing loan signings for Hartlepool United next week.

An already paper-thin Pools squad was dealt a further blow on deadline day when Luke James finally sealed his long-awaited move to League One side Peterborough United.

No permanent signings were brought in to replace the 19-year-old before the summer transfer window slammed shut, to the disappointment of already frustrated fans.

But Cooper can still bring in emergency loan recruits from Monday and unattached players are also an option.

Cooper said he is “pretty much on the limit” of the Financial Fair Play restrictions, despite the sale of James and Jack Baldwin back in January to Posh.

Several high earners have also left the club including Antony Sweeney, Andy Monkhouse and Simon Walton but the likes of Matthew Bates, Stuart Parnaby and Tommy Miller have been brought in.

Cooper said: “From my point of view, as I said before, I am still phoning lots of people about players – both permanent and loan.

“Within Financial Fair Play regulations I am pretty much on the limit.

“We try and get players in from near and afar that will help us through and we get to January hopefully get the opportunity to bring one or two in permanently.

“As for losing players, being honest, players in League Two with the ability to play higher you don’t want to lose them, but you want to them to progress.”

The Financial Fair Play framework was formally introduced in the Football League’s three divisions at the beginning of 2012-13.

The aim was to reduce the levels of losses incurred at some clubs and ensure the League is comprised of “self-sustaining” professional football clubs.

It broadly limits spending on total player wages to a proportion of each club’s turnover.

Cooper added: “The down side of being a manager in League Two is the Financial Fair Play regulations are very harsh and you have to live by them.

“All we can do is try and get as many fit bodies through the weekend and then the loan market opens and we’ll try and get one or two bodies through the door.

“Everybody is feeling it and I feel the same frustrations but believe me it won’t be for the want of trying and wanting to put a team on the pitch that the fans want to come and watch.

“I will be very active and there is hopefully some business done that will come into play next week.

“Until that happens we have to get on with the job.

“I understand the fans frustrations at me, we have not had a cracking start to the season.

“My job is to put a team on the pitch that will get us a result against Shrewsbury and I will be working hard to do that.

“I am working hard every day to do the best job I possibly can for this football club and I am enjoying my time here.”

Boro striker Bradley Fewster, 18, is being closely monitored along with Sunderland pair 19-year-old striker Mikael Mandron and forward Duncan Watmore, 20.

Speaking in mid-August, Black Cats boss Gus Poyet said neither would be leaving the club but that was before the transfer window closed.

Cooper wouldn’t elaborate on who the potential loan signings are, adding: “It is not fair on me, the player or players and any clubs involved.

“I’m hoping by the middle of next week we might have something done but if I say something and it doesn’t happen I look like a mug.

“I am not going to mug myself off but hopefully there will be something.”

The Pools manager said he follows social media and understands the fans frustrations, especially when transfer deals are done so late in the transfer window.

At least though, there will no more outgoings over the next four months.

Cooper added: “My job is to try and hopefully calm things down, the transfer window is now closed so we crack on with what we have got.

“The loan window will re-open but it is now time to just bed down and crack on.

“On the back of that we will see if we can put a bit of strength in place but because of the Financial Fair Play it is difficult.

“I can just focus on now until December and see what January brings and then I can hopefully redress the balance.”

Ex-striker Callum Hassan has been at Maiden Castle this week but is just training with the youth team and is not expected to re-join the club.