Christian Burgess will continue to shore up Hartlepool’s defence until the end of the season after the club struck a loan deal with Middlesbrough in time to take on Bury.
Fresh from breaking their run of draws with a dramatic late winner against Morecambe, Colin Cooper got another one of his Christmas wishes with a long-term deal for Burgess – who will stay at Victoria Park until the end of the campaign.
And that is excellent news for Hartlepool as they look to maintain the momentum generated by the late winner on Sunday.
A club statement read: “Christian Burgess will remain with Pools until the end of the season after a new loan deal was agreed for the defender.
“The 22-year-old initially moved to Victoria Park on loan at the beginning of August and has since made 28 appearances for the Club.
“He will now be available to face Bury at The Vic on New Year’s Day, subject to approval from the Football League.”
With Burgess set to stay in the team, Cooper is also pondering whether to retain Nialle Rodney in spite of the return of Andy Monkhouse from suspension.
The midfielder was sent off at Chesterfield but has played a key part this season and so would normally be expected to go straight back into the team. But Rodney’s performance was good enough to justify him staying in the team.
Cooper said: “I had a long chat with Andy (Monkhouse) and I said, while I think he has been very good for us this season, I have to say when things like that happen, you open the door for somebody.
“Nialle has done himself no harm against Morecambe.
“It was his first start and some of the bits that he did you could see he was a bit rusty but Nialle has got a lot of potential and that potential will come over time, when he has more minutes on the pitch.
“But it has been difficult to give him that time with the form of Luke James, Andy, James Poole and Jonathan Franks.
“Nialle has had to be patient but has taken his opportunity and me and Craig (Hignett) will have a ponder to see what we think is the best team to go and try to reverse what Bury did to us down at their place.”
Meanwhile, Cooper has said that he wants to forge closer links between Middlesbrough and Hartlepool in the coming months.
He has held talks with Boro Chief Executive Neil Bausor in a bid to come to some kind of formal agreement between the two clubs.
“Trying to forge closer links was part of the conversation with the chief executive,” Cooper says.
“Aitor Karanka wasn’t in the building at the point at which we went there which was understandable as it is Christmas and its a very busy period for everyone but we met Neil Bausor and we felt it was a constructive meeting.
“We went there because we wanted to agree deals for Christian and Matthew but the whole partnership idea was talked about. It was about how we take it forward and how it would work.”