Mark Cooper believes the return of John Rooney to Barrow AFC is a big statement by the club.

The midfielder rejoined the Bluebirds from Stockport County last night on a two-and-a-half year deal.

It saw Rooney rejoin the club he left 18 months ago.

Manager Cooper believes the 31-year-old can galvanise a Barrow side fighting to move away from the wrong end of League Two.

And he believes it sends a message about the Holker Street club's ambition.

"On and off the pitch, I think it’s a big statement for us," Cooper said.

"The board desperately want this club to be successful, you can see that."

Rooney could make his second debut for the club at Northampton Town tomorrow night, when Barrow will be arrest a run of three straight defeats.

The club will be hoping for similar impact to his first spell, when Rooney's prolific scoring from midfield was key to 2019/20's National League title campaign.

Barrow paid National League leaders Stockport an undisclosed fee to secure the Liverpudlian's return.

Speaking on the club website, Cooper added of the deal: “When I got told he was available I just felt like we had to try and get it done.

“I spoke to John, and he was desperate to come back, so hopefully he can come in and be involved on Tuesday.

“I know how highly thought-of he was by the fans here during his first spell and the players who played with him also speak very highly of the impact he had.

“I have seen him play myself this season and he strikes me as someone who is always creating and a constant threat. We need to score more goals and I think he can help us.

“He’s a winner as well. If people are not doing their jobs, not training to the level needed or not behaving properly then he will tell them – and we haven’t got enough of that.

“He can score goals out of nothing, hit ridiculous passes to create and he wants to run about, he wants to win and he’s a leader, so they’re all big ingredients for a midfield player."

Rooney is the fifth player to join Barrow during the transfer window, after Will Harris, Anthony Glennon, Jacob Wakeling and Aaron Amadi-Holloway, the latter making his debut in the 2-1 defeat at Newport County on Saturday.

It remains to be seen whether the Bluebirds will do any more deals before tonight's 11pm deadline, while Cooper has been hoping to find loan takers for some of his fringe players.

The manager added: “It’s going to take us a little bit of time to get ourselves on a steady footing, but the aim is to make sure we’re in a safe position this season and then we can have a real go at it.”