COLIN COOPER insists Hartlepool United can manage without Luke James.
Pools lost their striker this week, as he signed for Peterborough. But, despite being without the 19-year-old who scored 16 times last season, Cooper is confident Pools can flourish.
The Pools boss, who has midfielder Jon Greening training with the club after he spent time with them in pre-season, will be using the loan market next week to add to his squad.
Cooper said he has been working away on deals and has some lined up for next week when the temporary signing window opens.
And he admitted he understands the concerns and frustrations of supporters following a disappointing start to the season.
James signed for Posh in a deal which is short of Pools’ record sale – the £750,000 received for Tommy Miller in 2001 – and while the transfer was all in place on Monday morning, the club could not announce it until late evening at Peteborough’s request with their chairman wanting to announce it live on television.
Cooper, speaking at his press conference this morning, said: ““Luke going, we have lost 16 goals. He is a great kid, an absolute diamond to work with. He looks in your eyes and is eager to learn, but when I looked in his eyes this time he was eager to play somewhere else.
“For him it’s the excitement of the next step, for me it’s about signing players to address the balance.
“We would all be naive if we thought it was last minute. He expressed a wish to leave early. So it was always a case of getting the right deal for Hartlepool, not if it would go through.
“From my point of view, as I said before, I am still phoning about players. Within Financial Fair Play regulations I am pretty much on the limit. We try and get players in from near and afar to help us though and then in January get the chance to bring one or two in permanently.
“As for losing players, being honest, players in League Two with the ability to play higher you don’t want to lose them, but you want to them to progress.’’