Former Newcastle United striker Marlon Harewood has described joining League Two Hartlepool United as “a no-brainer”.
The Teessiders have been looking for a player to end their poor form in front of goal, and the prospect of playing for his old Nottingham Forest team-mate Colin Cooper swayed Harewood.
“Colin is definitely one of the reasons I’ve come here,” the 34-year-old told his new club’s website.
“I looked up to Colin at Nottingham Forest so for someone like that to come and ask me to help out in what he’s trying to achieve here was a no-brainer for me really.
“I have missed the game as soon as I came out of it so when Colin phoned me I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to get back in.
“When he told me what he has in place here it really swung it for me and I was keen to be part of it and help him succeed.”
Hartlepool have won just one of their last ten matches, and have only scored twice on two occasions in that sequence.
Harewood, released by Bristol City two weeks ago, was also a target for Mansfield Town. The 34-year-old could make his debut at Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
Luke James has ten goals in all competitions this season, but it is asking a lot of a teenage to shoulder the goalscoring burden for an entire League Two season, and James has not found the net since November.
“The way he (Cooper)’s talking is that we just need that little bit of edge and when he says things like that it makes me excited and makes me want to do well,” Harewood added.
Harewood certainly brings plenty of experience, with more than 120 goals in the Premier and Football League, spread across nine clubs. He also had a spell in China before joining the Robins.
Harewood was with Alan Pardew’s West Ham United when he scored the goal which knocked Middlesbrough out of the 2006 FA Cup semi-finals. His Upton Park form earned a £4m move to Aston Villa, but he was unable to recreate it in the Midlands.
One of his loan spells took him to Newcastle, where he scored five goals in 15 Championship appearances.
Harewood made just two starts for League One Bristol City this season, and 15 appearances from the bench. His only goal came against Brentford in October.