Skipper welcomes Harrison and Oliver to Hartlepool United

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HARTLEPOOL United’s latest recruits have been welcomed to life in Sky Bet League Two by captain Sam Collins.

Manager Colin Cooper managed to add two new faces to his Pools squad before the close of the emergency loan window last Thursday teatime, Sunderland duo Scott Harrison and Connor Oliver.

The pair were not in the squad for the visit of Cheltenham Town on Saturday as they played the night before for Kevin Ball’s Sunderland U21 side away to Manchester City as part of the loan arrangement.

Instead, Harrison and Oliver (right)joined up with the Pools camp for the first time at their Maiden Castle base on Monday morning.

Collins admitted their arrival has been a “welcome boost” as the players prepare for a final assault on the remaining six League Two games.

Harrison, 20, is a central defender while Oliver, also 20, is capable of featuring in either defence or midfield.

Cooper has clearly stated the pair were signed predominantly as cover, in case of injury or suspension to defenders Collins and Christian Burgess or midfield enforcer Simon Walton.

But Collins says new faces and fresh legs are always welcome and hopes it will have a positive impact ahead of the club’s away trip to fourth-bottom Portsmouth FC at Fratton Park on Saturday.

“It is always good to have a couple of new faces around the place,” said Collins.

“That will give everybody a boost and that is really important because we want to go to Pompey on Saturday and get a good result.”

Cooper has also been looking forward to working with the pair, who he has watched on several occasions this season.

He said: “They both have good technical ability, are physical and worthy to be put in the team at any point between now and the end of the season.”

Collins, meanwhile, has also welcomed Cooper’s move to extend the loan deal of Manchester United forward Jack Barmby until the end of the season.

The lively 19-year-old has scored three spectacular goals in 12 appearances since signing on an initial month-long loan deal back in January.

Collins believes Nick Barmby’s son has a lot of talent but said he, like other younger players, would benefit from being more consistent.

“Jack, like you find with a lot of the younger players, does really well at times and then may have a drop in performance,” added Collins.

“As long as they learn not to have those dips in form all the time, then they will be okay.

“The young lads at the club will learn from that and will only get better. They are a really talented bunch.”