SCOTT Harrison could still sign for Hartlepool United – but not before Ronnie Moore has seen him play.
The Sunderland centre-half is currently training with Pools and is lined up to bolster the League Two strugglers’ defence.
But Moore says he has not been able to get a good look at the 21-year-old because of the frozen pitches at the Maiden Castle training ground in Durham.
Harrison (pictured) was one of the few players to impress in a Pools shirt at the end of last season during his first loan spell, while he has played 13 times during the current camapaign.
“Scotty is still here,” said Moore. “I feel sorry for him at this present time as everything was arranged before I came in.
“But I’m not going to sign anyone who I haven’t seen or know about.
“To be fair, Sunderland have allowed him to come in and train and been brilliant with us. But they aren’t going to wait forever because there are other clubs out there (who will be interested in taking him).
“I’ve wanted to see him in a couple of games this week, but you can’t get on the bloomin’ pitches.
“Scotty wants to know what’s going on and he is keen enough.
“Sam Collins speaks highly enough of him and said he played well last season with him, may be not as good this season.
“But he’s a big strong lad with a little bit of pace. At this moment in time, I cannot say yes or no, I just need to make sure in my mind by seeing him play.”
While the door remains open for the Middlesbrough-born defender, the exit door has been shown to three players signed by previous boss Paul Murray.
Striker Joe Ironside, midfielder Sidney Schmeltz and defender Matteo Lanzoni have all left Victoria Park.
Dutchman Schmeltz had been signed on a short-term deal after being out of work, while Ironside and Lanzoni had joined on loan from Sheffield United and Cambridge.
The departures free up some capacity for the Pools boss who is keen to add pace in the wide areas and bring in strikers.
Ironside made four appearances for Pools. The 21-year-old scored his first Football League goal with a cool finish from the edge of the penalty area to give Pools the lead against Oxford recently before they came back to claim a point. He was partnered with Scott Fenwick in Sunday’s defeat to Morecambe but Moore has decided against keeping the raw youngster on.
Lanzoni joined at the end of November but made only two appearances and has been an unused substitute in the last four games.
The 26-year-old featured against Wycombe and Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup but didn’t impress.
Schmeltz signed a short-term deal at the end of October and went on to make seven appearances, three of them from the subs bench.
The 25-year-old shone on his debut, helping to inspire a comeback against Newport but he has struggled to show that form since.