NEALE Cooper admits Sunderland striker Ryan Noble is on his list of transfer targets.

The striker has just returned from a loan spell at Derby County and is available to leave the Stadium of Light on a temporary basis.

Despite scoring three times in beating Notts County at the weekend, Hartlepool United drew a blank at Preston last Tuesday, squandering a number of chances before losing 1-0.

Loading article content

Cooper has his side playing an attacking 4-3-3 formation, with three attackers and two midfielders given the freedom to press ahead.

"We didn't score the other night when we should have done, we all saw the chances,'' Cooper reflected.

"Tony Sweeney, not an out and out striker, and Andy Monkhouse scored on Saturday. They know themselves (missing chances), but I don't care who scores as long as the chances are put away.

"We want a Joel Porter type, someone always in and around the goal area, Marco Gabbiadini when he was here, an out and out scorer to get on the end of things.

"We are looking and try to make ourselves stronger. But how can I change that team? It's a nice problem to have. I've asked about one or two players and the clubs have asked will they get a game?

"Players are on form and there's no reason to change. James Brown and Andy are comfortable either side of the park, Luke (James) can play in a four wide like at Preston.

"I'm keen on Ryan Noble, I've enquired. It's been on going for a while. We target players and then make sure they want to come.''

And Cooper reserved praise for one of his regulars after Saturday's win.

Evan Horwood created Sweeney's first goal and the manager has taken to the left back and his infectious nature.

"I thought Evan was fantastic,'' he said. "Hopefully he is learning and he's a topper anyway, a great lad, I love him to bits and he is one of the funniest boys at the club.

"I love his attitude to life and football. Whether he understands me or not I don't know, he just nods he head.

"He was great again and put some great balls over, but his dead balls can be better.

Midfielder Gary Liddle should be fit for the weekend trip to Wycombe. He was forced off in the second half after a tackle by Neal Bishop but X-rays were clear yesterday and he has suffered severe bruising.

Former Pools coach Colin West has been appointed first-team coach at Notts County, under their new manager Keith Curle. He replaces Martin Allen, who was sacked immediately after Saturday's loss at Victoria Park, a game watched by West.