HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1 SCUNTHORPE UNITED 2

Nolberto Solano plays the ball against Scunthorpe. Photograph by Frank Reid.
Nolberto Solano plays the ball against Scunthorpe. Photograph by Frank Reid.
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SURPRISE –That was Neale Cooper’s over-riding emotion in the wake of this defeat, yet another insipid showing on home soil.

For the new boss, when unveiled to the press last week, had spoken positively of inheriting a team well placed in League One.

Luke James in action against Scunthorpe United. Photograph by Frank Reid.

Luke James in action against Scunthorpe United. Photograph by Frank Reid.

There was even talk of a renewed play-off push.

Fast forward four days and 180 minutes of football and it’s fair to say that Cooper has changed his tact.

His tone now, as alluded to above, is one of bewildering surprise - shock, even.

The Scot thought Pools were better than this.

But then he wouldn’t be the first newly-installed manager to accentuate the positives upon arrival only to see optimism fade to realism within a matter of days.

Read Craig Hope’s full match report, plus more reaction to the Scunthorpe defeat, in today’s Sportmail.