Hartlepool Utd boss demands reaction for Nottingham Forest cup tie after Rochdale defeat

Manager Colin Cooper gives instruction from the sidelines during the game against Rochdale.

Manager Colin Cooper gives instruction from the sidelines during the game against Rochdale.

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COLIN Cooper has demanded a reaction from his players after admitting Hartlepool United had their “backsides kicked” in the season opener at Rochdale.

The 46-year-old could only watch on at Spotland as sloppy defending and errant finishing cost his side dear, the hosts running out comfortable 3-0 victors.

Cooper, though, insists he will not allow his players to dwell on the disappointment of their start and expects a much-improved performance at Nottingham Forest in tomorrow evening’s Capital One Cup First Round.

“I’m disappointed because we went there feeling good and feeling ready,” he reflected with SportMail today.

“We’re all gutted, you don’t put in five-and-a-half weeks of hard graft to get your backside kicked on the first day of the season.

“We did have our backsides kicked.

“It’s happened – what do we do about it?

“We ain’t going to roll over and die, that’s for sure.

“We can only prepare for Forest on Tuesday now and look to put things right then.”

For supporters, the weekend loss had all-too-familiar echoes of last season.

But, while Cooper will take time to reflect on the rights and wrongs of the defeat, he says his players must move on.

“I will dwell on this but I don’t want them to,” he added.

“In football everyone makes mistakes.

“But if you make a mistake, how do you react?

“I wrote on the board before the game that people will make mistakes, that’s football.

“It’s about reacting to those and learning from them and not making them again.

“Whether you’re young or old you have to pick yourself up and go again.”