Hartlepool Utd boss less likely to use ‘hairdryer’ now

Antony Sweeney salutes the travelling support at the end of the 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough. Picture By Frank Reid

Antony Sweeney salutes the travelling support at the end of the 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough. Picture By Frank Reid

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NEALE Cooper is a former pupil of the man famed for dishing out the proverbial “hairdryer treatment”.

Indeed, during his previous tenure at Victoria Park, it wasn’t uncommon for the Scot to deliver a stinging, verbal rebuke to one of his men – in much the same fashion that has made Sir Alex Ferguson – once Cooper’s boss at Aberdeen – the most feared manager in the land.

But Antony Sweeney – a player under Cooper back in 2005 – believes his old gaffer has mellowed somewhat during his six-and-a-half years away from the club – although he’s reluctant to shout that too loudly just yet.

“Obviously I’ve worked with Neale before so I know what he is all about, but there are lads who are just getting to know him,” the midfield ace told SportMail today.

“When he was here last time he was a lot more angry than he is now, I think he may have mellowed a bit.

“Obviously the first day was a bit quiet as he didn’t really know the lads, apart from a few.

“But now there’s a lot of laughing and joking and training has been good and spirits are high.

“But I’m sure someone will get a rocket soon enough!”

Sweeney, though, has been impressed by the impact of Cooper during the past month – results bare testament to that.

“He’s a top man,” he went on, “He gives people the confidence to go out and express themselves.

“He is passionate, expects 100 per cent and if you give that he will be full of praise for you.

“I think he is the right one to bring the confidence back, he looks at the positive side instead of the negative side of it all.

“That’s always good to hear, because if you have done something bad you often want picking up from it.

“He will give all the lads confidence and the belief to move forward and perform to our capabilities.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail