Cooper eyes Boro talks over loan pair - and wants closer link with Sunderland too

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper
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HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is keen to sit down with new Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka in a bid to extend the stays of loan stars Christian Burgess and Matty Dolan.

The Boro duo have been key men for Pools – Burgess for his excellent central defensive partnership with Jack Baldwin, while Dolan has formed a highly-effective midfield unit with Simon Walton.

But Dolan’s third month at Victoria Park ends after New Year’s Day, while Burgess’s half-season loan also comes to a conclusion.

“It’s something I’d like to get done as quickly as possible,” said Cooper who plans to call Boro chief executive Neil Bausor to try to arrange a meeting.

“If I can meet the chief executive and head coach before Thursday that would be ideal, though obviously they are busy too preparing for their games.

“It’s crucial we try to get it boxed off before Christmas and extend their stays a bit longer.”

Cooper and assistant Craig Hignett have an excellent connection with the club they are synonymous with, while Cooper is trying to develop closer ties with another of his former clubs, Sunderland.

“I’ve said from day one here that I’d like a relationship with all three of the big North East clubs,” he said.

“We have the obvious relationship with Middlesbrough because of the players we have and mine and Craig’s time there.

“I know (Under-21 boss) Kevin Ball really well up at Sunderland, I don’t know Gustavo (Poyet) that well, but I’d love to have a relationship with them as well.

“Myself and Kevin have an idea how we can link the clubs together which hopefully we can develop in the new year.”

But his sights are not just up and down the A19, Cooper hopes to link up with Newcastle United too.

“The same goes with Newcastle and we’ve asked about availability of players from there,” Cooper said.

“But Newcastle players tend to go out to League One.

“It’s really important that Hartlepool has that relationship with our neighbours.

“We can say to all three ‘if you have players who you think can make us better, we can give them an opportunity to play league football’.

“That is probably something the clubs can’t do for them at the moment because it’s a bit of a big step from Under-21 football to the Premier League.

“It’s a huge step and we could be that bridge.

“We have a good connection with Middlesbrough and hopefully we can develop something with Sunderland in the new year.

“I’d like to happen with Newcastle as well.”