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Cooper hopes to keep hold of on-loan Dolan
COLIN COOPER is hoping to get the all-clear from Middlesbrough keep Matty Dolan at Hartlepool United.
The midfielder scored in Tuesday’s win over AFC Wimbledon at Victoria Park, Pools’ fifth win in a row, but it was the last game of the second month of his temporary deal.
Hartlepool-born Dolan has impressed in recent games and Cooper is keen to extend his stay for at least another four weeks.
His Boro team-mate Christian Burgess is on a half-season loan at Pools and Cooper said: “I’ve got to sort Matty’s situation out this week as his loan is officially up, so I will speak to people at Middlesbrough.
“Christian is here until the turn of the year. I earmarked the two as players I wanted here from day one and they are justifying why.
“They are two young players, who want to improve and progress in the professional game. To play League Two football rather than development football is a shot in the arm for them.
“I would like to have them both here all season but that won’t be my decision. I’ll try and keep them as long as I can, whoever comes in as the Middlesbrough manager.
“If not then I will work with what we have got and try and improve the squad.’’ Pools have moved up the League Two table of late after four successive wins – they have scored a healthy 12 times in their five wins in a row (the other one came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy).
Cooper added: “We are lucky enough to be scoring good goals at the moment at the right time. We have played some very good football and lost home games, yet in the last two games we haven’t played anywhere near as well and won games.
“The message to the lads is that there is more to come, but there is a nice feeling about things at the moment and they are ready to put their bodies on the line.’’ Luke James now has seven to his name this season and three in three after his header gave Pools the initiative on Tuesday.
Each of the three strikes have been of a different nature.
At Exeter he finished neatly one on one, the goal against Plymouth was an individual effort, while Tuesday’s goal was a towering header.
And the finish, Cooper admitted, left the manager embossed.
“My staff will back me up - sometimes I need to sit down and shut up,’’ he mused. “The pass was too straight into the area from Simon Walton, too driven, Luke had no chance of winning it against the centrehalf.
“We scored from it, so I know absolutely nothing!
“I’m going to shut up in the future. I felt Luke was backed into a centre-half and it was a comfortable one for the defender – then Luke made an idiot of me.
“He does things he shouldn’t be doing. His goal at Exeter was lovely movement. We have been trying to get him on the back shoulders of defenders and he did it well.
“Against Plymouth, he has no right to score that goal. But his determination to get in the area drives him on. He did take small steps to the ball, which is what we have been asking of him, so he was pleased when we pointed it out to him.’’ Cooper added: “He has found an extra spring, the goalkeeper thinks he will get it, the centre-half thinks he will get it and Luke wins it and scores.
“I felt we needed to do something to shore things up and then we scored to go in front.
It was a great time to score and Matty’s goal put the icing on the cake. As soon as it left his foot the ball is moving and the keeper can’t keep it out.
“That goal was what we try and do, in getting forward.”
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