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Hughes leaving his transfer work until late
JOHN Hughes is leaving any transfer work until the final hours of the deadline.
Football League clubs are not restricted to tomorrow's 11pm cut-off point and can make non-contract and loan signings afterwards.
But the Hartlepool United boss is still keen to add to his squad.
The emergence of Jack Baldwin impressing - and scoring - in midfield in the last two games has been a boost, as were the performance of James Poole at Portsmouth at the weekend.
And Hughes admitted: "We are looking at the forward and a midfielder, but it's about the right ones.
"I've banged the drum about this and we need someone good enough to play in the first team and enhance it. You have to look at the whole picture in looking after a player in terms of accommodation and everything that goes with it.
"Or do you go to the North-East clubs and get a young one? It might be a bit much for them.
"There's a focus and determination to stay up, I want a player who can step in with experience and has a drive and desire to drag us forward."
Hughes, meanwhile, has been pleased with the response of Simon Walton after the midfielder was given a run in the side.
A series of fitness and injury problems have hampered him this season, but he completed 90 minutes in the win at Portsmouth at the weekend and was Pools' most influential outfield player.
"Simon was applauded off the other night against Bournemouth, I was delighted about it,'' said Hughes. "He is getting fitter with games and he is training hard.
"He needs more 90 miunutes to build up fitness, but if the hamstring goes after an hour because I've played him too long, it's not good management, but I keep asking if he can do it.
"He can get on the ball and run the show.
"Playing the quarterback role now, then can he move up and go toe to toe with a guy and go box to box? That's the next step.''
Pools reserves face Rotherham at Billingham Town today (2pm).
Paul Murray, the midfielder released by Pools last week, has signed a contract with Oldham until the end of the season.
He is, however, ineligible to play in the Latics FA Cup fifth round tie with Everton - he was part of the Pools team thumped 6-1 at Chesterfield in round one.
"I am experienced and still have the desire and enthusiasm to play,'' he said.
"I may be 36 but I am as fit as any time in my career.
"I played the first 18 games of the season and then the new manager came in with different ways.''
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