COLIN COOPER feels a double loan arrangement between Hartlepool United and Middlesbrough is of benefit to both parties.
Boro’s former Under-18 coach returned to his old club to land Christian Burgess and Matty Dolan on loan, with both players enjoying regular first-team football in League Two.
There’s every likelihood the pair would be consigned to Under-21 games if they had stayed at Boro, rather than go on loan to Victoria Park, where they have become mainstays of the side.
Burgess has extended his loan until the end of the season after it expired on December 31. Dolan’s loan is officially up, but he’s expected to stay at and sign again in time to face Rochdale at Victoria Park on Saturday.
“Christian has been good, he’s enjoying it and I think Middlesbrough understand what we are doing,’’ said Cooper. “He has come on leaps and bounds and he is still a student - he is still doing a history degree at Teesside University while playing football.
“He’s had 18 months as a professional footballer since moving to Middlesbrough, finding his feet. He’s has six months regular football here and that’s brought him on, no doubt about it.
“But because of who is he, and what he is, ups and downs are part of a career. We are providing him with an opportunity here to build a career and he’s not had that so far.’’
Dolan was man of the match at Chesterfield on Boxing Day and is relishing the chance to play for his hometown club.
“Matty is the same, he’s had one loan spell away from Middlesbrough so far and this is a chance for him to progress with regular, first-team football,’’ added Cooper.
“It’s a different game to development and academy football and I think we are providing an excellent service to Middlesbrough with those two players and I would like it to continue.’’
Injured duo Jack Compton (calf) and Jordan Richards (hernia) have returned to training. Compton was injured in the Boxing Day draw at Chesterfield, while Richards had surgery in December.
Meanwhile, a Pools side goes to Consett this evening in the Durham Challenge Cup.
Loading article content