IN what is a brutal assessment of his Hartlepool United players, Neale Cooper has today admitted: “I do not trust them with my livelihood”.
And the Scot has again warned that he will not entertain anyone who cannot deal with his approach of laying bare their shortcomings.
The Pools boss was ringing with sweat and visibly enraged when he emerged to talk to the press after last night’s pitiful 2-0 defeat at Notts County.
He had just torn into his under-performing side in the visiting dressing-room at Meadow Lane, revealing that James Poole, Peter Hartley and Simon Walton, as well as others, were all on the receiving end of his fury.
And Cooper – whose team were second best from the off against The Magpies – did not hold back when he spoke to SportMail.
“I’m so upset,” he sounded, “My shirt is ringing with sweat. I’ve been in there ranting my head off – I promise it’s not for effect.
“I thought ‘bloody hell, what am I watching here? What am I getting from them?’.
“I’m honest. If players do well they get praised, if they get a bit of stick then deal with it, grow up.
“I’m not letting anyone ruin my livelihood – it’s too important to me.
“I swear to you, if any boys knock on my door and say they’re not happy – ‘see you later then’.
“I’ll put boys in who want to play for this club.
“I don’t want namby pamby boys who you can’t shout at.”
Cooper’s rage was understandable.
Pools did not muster a single effort on goal as they followed up a decent performance during Saturday’s goalless draw against Swindon Town with the most lethargic of displays.
And the manager’s passionate blast went on: “I’m fed up.
“I’ve had a go at a right few.
“But I don’t care, this is my livelihood.
“I want to know what I’m getting when I come to watch them play.
“Some of the boys in there I don’t know what I’m going to get – a superstar performance or a Dog and Duck performance.
“I mean it – if someone comes in and sees me because they didn’t like me having a go at them, seriously, I’ll get boys who want to be here.
“I want a team I can trust – I can’t trust these right now, I don’t know what I’m going to get.
“This just cannot go on, it’s unacceptable.”