Hughes has faith in Hartlepool’s youngsters

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IT was, as expected, a quiet transfer deadline day at Hartlepool United, with nothing going on.

It doesn’t mean John Hughes is stuck with what he has got, as emergency loan signings are permitted from next week.

And the Pools boss is pleasantly surprised with the impact his younger talents have displayed which gives him options.

Jack Baldwin, James Poole and Greg Rutherford all scored last weekend in the win at Portsmouth, while Luke James impressed in a cameo substitute role.

With experienced duo Steve Howard (hamstring) and Antony Sweeney (knee) still a couple of weeks away from fitness, all four will be involved in tomorrow’s home game with Notts County.

Hughes would rather utilise his own prospects rather than bring an untested prospect from another club and throw him into a relegation battle.

“I said to you two weeks ago we all want one or two players in,’’ he said. “There’s a lot of factors to take into account with accommodation and all that side. That’s down to the infrastructure of the club.

“Unless I’m getting someone in you know can really improve and be one I can hang my hat on, then I’d rather go with my own young kids like we did last weekend.

“One or two from other academies, it is too much for them and it’s a bit unfair to take a young academy kid and throw him into this environment with no breaking in period.’’ Baldwin has two goals in two games since replacing Sweeney in the midfield and Hughes admitted: “I’d rather go with my own kids who know the situation and appreciate it. Saying what I’ve said in recent weeks about signings and factors has been proved the case – but it doesn’t stop us looking.

“We still look about and if there’s one or two coming on the scene then it’s something that will appeal to us.

“Can someone come in and grab it by the scruff of the neck? That’s what we need.

It’s great to being a player in, but bring the wrong one in can alter the way you go, you have to be guarded.’’ Pools have not won a home game since September 1 and have lost their last seven at Victoria Park.

It’s a run Hughes accepts simply has to end tomorrow.

“Last weekend was a mustwin game, this is a cup final now. It’s the biggest game of the season for us, for a number of reasons,’’ he insisted.

“We need to start winning home games, we need to win back to back games. We knew if we could win at Portsmouth it could set us up for Notts County.

“Do that and we are right back in the mix. Most games will have a real significance and bearing on our season, we don’t want to be in this position but we are so we have to take it on.’

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