Hartlepool United’s Hughes sets sights on free agent signings

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JOHN Hughes will not be adding to his Hartlepool United squad before the close of today’s loan window – but he has not ruled out the arrival of free agents in the coming weeks, writes CRAIG HOPE.

Pools are at their ceiling when it comes to the percentage of income they can spend on players’ wages.

That being the case, any loan addition would have to come in at no cost to the club, such as the deal with Middlesbrough forward Charlie Wyke.

Hughes hinted that he would have to “beg, steal and borrow” to strengthen his squad, but said: “I very much doubt anyone will be coming in,” when asked about the loan deadline.

“That doesn’t mean to say when it closes we can’t still do business.

“There’s still one or two boys without clubs.

“But right at this moment in time we have to stick with what we’ve got and keep battling through it.

“We have to keep that spirit we showed on Tuesday night against Oldham.”

Pools were beaten 2-1 by the Latics to keep them rooted to the foot of League One, 10 points adrift of safety heading into Saturday’s game at Walsall.

Today marks one week since Hughes first met his new players.

Hughes added: “I’ve been here seven days now and I’ve done my assessment of the club and I know how I’m going to bring success here.

“I’m going to work hard with the kids coming through.

“If you do that you get loyalty from them and you can nurture them into the footballer you want.

“If I can give one or two the opportunity then something special might happen with them.

“That’s wont happen overnight and I ask supporters to be patient.

“But already I have a vision for where I want this club to go.”