NEALE Cooper hailed his teen treasures Jack Baldwin and Darren Holden following last night’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United.
But the Pools boss remains concerned about the nature of the goals conceded after Paul Gallagher stole an undeserved win for The Blades just one minute from time.
Baldwin and Holden, both 19, had been included from the start with skipper Sam Collins and regular left-back Evan Horwood dropped to the bench, and the youngsters were among the home side’s top performers in what was a much-improved display.
The pair now look set for a run in the team with Crewe Alexandra next up on Saturday, as Cooper told SportMail: “Jack was immense and Darren was excellent as well.
“Jack is just a superb player – he makes it look so easy.
“I spoke to Sam about being left out on Monday.
“But Jack was excellent again.
“Darren came in for Evan as well.
“I just think Evan has to be more aware defensively at times.
“But Darren, like Jack, has done very well.
“His throw-ins are lethal – he’s like a human-sling.
“He’s very quick and he’ll match wingers for pace.
“He’s got a good strike of the ball when he gets in the channels and he got forward well.”
Cooper, however, was disappointed not to emerge with at least a point after Steve Howard had levelled Dave Kitson’s opener with his first goal since returning to the club in the summer.
“We were a real threat all game and had so many chances,” he went on.
“Stevie got a good goal from a brilliant Jon Franks’ cross and we were set for a deserved point.
“But good teams don’t concede.
“It was a cross which was fortunate, which went behind everyone, and it was a great finish from Gallagher.
“But we’ve still got to work on being a bit stronger at the back.”