COLIN Cooper has vowed to win around those Hartlepool United supporters unhappy with the start to the season.
Pools currently lie 21st in Sky Bet League Two following Tuesday’s 5-1 demolition at Northampton Town.
The heavy defeat came on the back of four points and two clean sheets against Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers at Victoria Park.
It appeared Pools had turned a corner but it was the manner of the defeat at the Sixfields Stadium – as much as the result itself – that left supporters reeling.
Pools – still short of firepower up front after the deadline day sale of Luke James to Peterborough United – were second best all over the field after Charlie Wyke had given his side an early lead.
Defeat to Northampton meant out of the eight matches played so far, Cooper’s side has recorded two wins while tasting defeat five times.
Cooper – who says he has “broad shoulders” – still firmly believes though that he has the “best job in the world”.
But he admits it is up to him and the players to win over those supporters frustrated at another poor start.
Asked if he – as well as the players – needed a lift after the midweek hammering, Cooper said: “I am all right and have broad shoulders.
“Some people will think I’m doing a bad job, some an OK job and others a great job.
“For me, I feel as though I am trying, trying to improve the squad, to make the players we have got here better and to get a culture within the club.
“While I will readily admit things aren’t going our way at the moment that won’t stop me.
“Those that think I am doing a bad job, my job is to try to make them think in a couple or four or five games that, maybe, ‘he is doing all right’.
“As regard a shot in the arm, I have been around the block long enough and this is still the best job in the world.
“This is the life I have chosen as a player, coach and manager and if you ask if I am enjoying it, despite the result on Tuesday, then I have to say yes.
“I don’t get too high or too down but I get angry and frustrated and as a player I did the same.
“But having played 700-odd games, if I played 50 good ones then I would have been lucky.
“The other 650 were just a real grind but a grind they were and you get highs and lows.”
Cooper, speaking ahead of today’s League Two match at Plymouth Argyle, said: “We are very disappointed and have been turned over at an away ground, having created chances.
“We looked vulnerable in our final third but looked OK in their final third.
“We have to create chances but also stop crosses and defend our 18-yard box better.
“All we can do is roll our sleeves up.”
l LOG on to www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk for team news, half-time and full-time match reports from Pools’ trip to Plymouth Argyle.
Follow @RMennearHMail and @HPoolMail on Twitter for live updates throughout the match.