COLIN’S COOL – Hartlepool Utd boss not concerned with away form

Colin Cooper at the end of the game against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper at the end of the game against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
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HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper says he has “no concerns” about his side’s recent poor away form which has seen them lose three matches on the bounce.

Recent away defeats to Scunthorpe United, Newport County and Bury on Tuesday night is in stark contrast to the impressive home form at Victoria Park, which has seen Pools win four consecutive league matches.

But Cooper is bullish about the character of his side and is confident the away form will turn around soon enough, although he does admit they may have to consider the way they approach away games.

The 1-0 defeat to Bury at Gigg Lane was courtesy of a Danny Nardiello strike in the 48th minute, while Pools were slow to start in the 2-0 defeat away to Newport County in South Wales and paid the price.

Pools did play well away to Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park but were beaten 1-0 after a mistake from on-loan Christian Burgess gifted the Iron the victory.

Yet Cooper, a former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest defender, believes his side never look like they are going to be broken down easily.

The 46-year-old said: “The defeats are all by the odd goal so I am not concerned.

“If you look at the three away

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performances; Tuesday was a game that could have gone either way, Newport, we weren’t happy with the first half hour and the way we played and against Scunthorpe away, we were by far the better team.

“If we were losing and not providing the opposition with questions then maybe I would be concerned, but even in the Newport game which we lost 2-0, their keeper has made more saves than our keeper has had to.

“I am disappointed, don’t get me wrong.

“But maybe from our point of view, me and Craig [Hignett] might have to look at how we play away from home.

“We try and play some football and get people into areas where they may be creative.

“But I don’t think we look as though we are going to get broken down easily.

“To lose by the odd goal is disappointing, obviously, but I’m not concerned.”

Pools, who are currently 13th in the league, will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday, when they entertain managerless Portsmouth FC at Victoria Park.

Cooper’s men then take on Coventry City in the Second Round of the FA Cup the following Saturday, again at The Vic, before a tricky away tie at Cheltenham Town in mid-December, where Pools will be looking to put a stop to their poor away run of results.

- RICHARD MENNEAR