Hartlepool Utd boss must rally ‘flat’ team ahead of Accrington Stanley clash

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper

COLIN Cooper will this week attempt to rally a “flat” Hartlepool United as their search for a first league win continues.

Pools have now lost their first three matches of the League Two campaign on home soil and are two points adrift of safety in the bottom-tier drop zone.

They did bring relief to a nine-hour goal drought with an injury-time consolation during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers, becoming the final Football League to get off the mark this season.

And Cooper will now prepare his side for what is already shaping into a mammoth clash with fellow basement boys Accrington Stanley at Victoria Park on Saturday.

“The whole place felt flat on Saturday,” the manager reflected today.

“The team, the ground, the atmosphere, it was flat and that became frustrating.

“Yes, we scored, but that was no consolation at all.

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up now and go again ahead of Accrington.”

While Cooper’s boys could have had a first-half goal when Christian Burgess’ header appeared to cross the line, their early promise soon faded and Wycombe took victory thanks to a second-half brace from teenage substitute Max Kretzschmar.

Pools have come from behind to win just once in the past year and the boss admits that conceding first should not be the prelude to inevitable defeat.

“We have been down that scenario of going a goal down,” he said, “We have said that (if it does happen) we still have to do the right things – go again and try to pick up the tempo, we didn’t do that on Saturday.

“We went into our shells a bit and when the second goal goes in your thinking ‘here we go again’.

“There were loads of huffs and puffs and knock-downs but it didn’t fall for us like it did the other night against Bradford.

“We will look at reasons why.

“That first goal is vital for us and it proved the case again.

“But we have to be able to concede first and still find a way back into the game because we have shown what we can do when scoring first – we went on to score five.

“So it’s frustrating but I feel we are heading in the right direction.”