COLIN Cooper has called for more consistency from his Hartlepool United troops if they want to climb the league table
Pools have won their last four Sky Bet League Two matches on home soil at Victoria Park but that is in stark contrast to their away form, which has seen them lose their last three on the road.
Cooper said while his team are always anxious about picking up three points, they must first make sure they do not lose matches.
The 46-year-old, speaking ahead of today’s League Two match against Portsmouth at Victoria Park (KO 3pm), said the message to his players is always to make sure they don’t get beat and then find a way to win the game.
Four wins on the trot at Pools’ Clarence Road base have come against Plymouth Argyle, Wimbledon, Dagenham & Redbridge and Northampton Town last Saturday.
But the most recent win was followed with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Bury at Gigg Lane three days later.
Trimdon-born Cooper said: “The one thing we said after the Bury game, is that you can’t win at home and lose away and keep doing that.
“You are better off winning games than drawing games at home.
“The first thing is to make sure you don’t get beat.
“I didn’t see Bury scoring against us.
“If we had drawn that game 0-0 then we would have been alright.
“If you want to push up the table, you are always anxious that you need to win the next one after a defeat. That doesn’t always happen in football.
“We have to be conscious we want to try to win, but in order to win we have to make sure we don’t lose.
“There’s no point getting anxious about ‘we have to win the game on Saturday’ because if you have to win, what happens if we don’t.
“People always talk about six pointers, the most important game of your life, then what happens after that?
“You don’t need to turn up for the next game.
“Of course you do,” added the former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest defender.
* Log on to www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk for team news and a final whistle match report from this afternoon’s match against Portsmouth at Victoria Park.