COLIN COOPER yesterday made a double signing to bolster his injury-hit Hartlepool United squad for the final runin.
Scott Harrison and Connor Oliver, both 20, have moved on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season.
And Jack Barmby has extended his loan spell from Manchester United until the end of the campaign.
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Pools suffered four injuries in the midweek defeat to Mansfield. While Jack Compton (hamstring) and Darren Holden (back) are likely to miss tomorrow’s home game with Cheltenham, Sam Collins took a blow to his cheekbone on Tuesday, Marlon Harewood (ankle) is a doubt and Antony Sweeney’s season could be over with a hamstring strain.
Harrison moved to the Black Cats from Darlington in December 2012 after making seven Conference appearances and has been on loan at Bury this season, where he made one substitute appearance.
Oliver, capable of playing across the defence and midfield, has suffered from injury of late and is a second year professional.
Barmby has spent two months on loan, scoring three times in eight games and Cooper is pleased to continue his development at Victoria Park.
Barmby’s dad Nick has been a regular both home and away to keep an eye on his son and Cooper said: “Nick comes to every game and he’s pleased Jack has got the opportunity here. He wants more out of his son and so do Manchester United, they recognise his talent and they want to see him doing x, y and z.
“I’m convinced he’s doing a smashing job for us. His impact in games has been good, he’s scored goals, he’s created goals.
“He’s only 19 and he’s going to make mistakes.
“I’ve said from day one that I’m happy to accept that young players will make genuine mistakes. They are trying to do the right thing but mistakes happen “Christian (Burgess) made one on Tuesday night but he and the rest of the lads have given us a hell of a lot more good than bad.
“While we do get disappointed with results I’m still delighted with the way we are trying to do things and the impact these lads have had on our season.’’ With seven games remaining, Pools are nine points short of the top-seven.
Simon Walton is available tomorrow after suspension, but one more booking would mean a two-game ban for the midfielder.
Michael Duckworth returned in midweek to boost the squad and Cooper admitted yesterday: “We’ve got injuries to contend with and two days after the game we will give them every opportunity to be fit.
“I’ve no problem with players getting treatment today - it’s Friday when I like to get everything in place and preparation done, so if they aren’t fit on Friday then we know where we are.
“We had three lads come off the other night. Marlon had a sore ankle, a contact injury to give it as long as you can to heal.
“Darren had a knock on his hip last Friday and went into spasms the other night. He’s sore, but hopefully he can be manipulated.
“Jack Compton felt his hamstring, but will train and be ok. When it happened you wonder, but it was more of a cramp issue.
“Unfortunately, Tony Sweeney looks like he will be lucky to play again this season with his hamstring strain.
“Sam Collins has a knock on his face, he knows how he feels and a centre-half who puts his body on the line knows it’s part of the game. I will be guided by Sam but he’s a tough one and over the years has had plenty of other knocks.’’