It has been a challenging week at Darlington, one that sees them go into this weekend still hoping to secure Danny Rose in time for Saturday's home game with Kidderminster Harriers, but Jake Lawlor is unlikely to be involved.

Their respective loans expired after last Saturday’s 6-0 win at Farsley Celtic, Quakers’ biggest away win since 2016, with Rose going back to Grimsby Town and Lawlor to Hartlepool United.

Talks are ongoing but Darlington remain optimistic Rose’s stay will be extended either on loan or via a permanent transfer, the midfielder having become a regular under Alun Armstrong since joining in October.

“There’s lots of talking and I’m hoping we can get it finalised on Friday,” explained the manager. “I would like him permanently, for this season and next season, but he’s speaking to Grimsby and we’ll see what we can do.

“If we cannot get him permanently then hopefully it’ll be a loan while we’re still in discussions.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air and his quality is coming through now. He’s enjoying it, I think he’s had five assists and I love the way he keeps the ball.

"He keeps it ticking over and his positional sense is top drawer which is why he’s playing in the Football League.”

However, Armstrong is less optimistic about Lawlor. He had understood his loan from Pools would be extended for the remainder of the season, but that is no longer the case so will not play at Blackwell this weekend “unless something miraculous happens,” said Armstrong.

“It’s been a tough week with all these scenarios happening,” he added. “Jake Lawlor, Jake Cooper, Luke Charman and Danny Rose - my head is spinning and I’m trying to prepare for the game on Saturday.

“One thing I will say is the lads have been brilliant in training, as you imagine they would be after last Saturday.”

Charman remains with Quakers, despite a League Two club this week making an offer that met his release clause. The in-demand striker spoke to the club, but turned them down.

However, Charman remains hot property and Armstrong is not expecting him to remain with Quakers much longer with numerous clubs showing an interest.

Cooper’s loan from Rotherham United expired earlier this month, the defender having missed the last couple of fixtures due to a hamstring strain.

The manager added: “Jake’s just started training again, but he’s got other clubs higher up interested. He’s got to speak to them to see what happens.

“I am looking at the loan market, because we’ve only got Danny Ellis and Alex Storey left, so I am looking at bringing in a centre-half on loan if I can.”

Former Middlesbrough defender David Wheater is training with Darlington while he recovers from back surgery, and a deal may be in the offing.

“If he can get back playing that would be great, he’s kept himself in decent shape,” explained Armstrong.

“He’s training with us, he’s doing his rehab with Danny and hopefully we can phase him in, get him up to speed and take it from there.”