DAVE CHALLINOR has made his second signing as Hartlepool United boss by landing Salford City’s Mark Shelton on loan.

While Challinor hopes to hear Luke James’ groin injury will not keep him out for the long term, the Pools manager has been boosted by the signature of the new midfielder ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy test at Harrogate Town.

Shelton, 23, will increase the midfield options for Hartlepool in the short team initially, with his loan from Salford covering up to the trip to Yeovil Town on Saturday, January 18.

He was an important part of the Salford squad that won back-to-back promotions from the National League and National League North before heading to Woking on loan earlier this season.

He was at Alfreton Town in 2017, a year when he faced Darlington, having previously at spells with Burton and as a schoolboy at Nottingham Forest.

The news came on a day when forward Niko Muir joined National League South outfit Hemel Hempstead Town on a month’s loan.

Sheldon, 26, made a switch to Pools from Hendon last summer and made 39 appearances during his debut campaign at Victoria Park.

Challinor has already brought Tyler Hamilton in on loan from Hull City but now he is waiting to hear what damage has been done to James.

The forward has impressed under Challinor but was forced off after an hour with the problem as Hartlepool overcame Exeter City in the FA Cup second round replay on Tuesday night.

Challinor, whose side will now travel to Oxford in the third round with £135,000 at stake, said: “I’m proud of the boys. It’s massive for the club to win and good for myself as a manager it’s the first time in the third round!

“It’s huge for us to get to the third round and we get some extra prize money. It becomes even bigger then. We know we are in for a really tough game, flying in League One.

“The FA Cup has a habit of shocks, but we go and look to make something of it after the league programme over Christmas and the New Year. We have a tough run of games, ones we hope can get us in the play-off positions.

“It was a good night on Tuesday, one we can hopefully replicate over the course of the near future. We hope Luke isn’t too serious and if it is we need to look at our options.”

With James potentially sidelined there will be more focus on Toure’s performances, with Nicke Kabamba the other main alternative attacking option.

“Gime, that consistency is why he is at this level,” said Challinor, who left Toure on for 115 minutes against Exeter.

“We spoke at half-time about the end product and decision making around it. He could have fired balls across the box and they did it – at times you need to do it and put defenders on the back foot. You need that variety and recognise if others are in good areas.

“The decision is simple at times, but it’s a work in progress and getting them to make better decisions will result in them playing at a higher level.”