COLIN Cooper was pleased with Hartlepool United’s performance at Bradford City because it showed that they weren’t veering off down the wrong path he feared they were, writes CHRIS BELL.
The Pools boss confessed that the lacklustre, timid displays against Sunderland and Middlesbrough had concerned him with the League Two season rapidly approaching.
However, he has defused the severity of his own apprehensions following the 1-1 draw against the Bantams, content that the intensity that has been devoid this pre-season returned.
He wasn’t all happy, though.
“I was pleased with bits and pieces,” he admitted to SportMail.
“There’s more we can do but at least I feel we are heading in the direction that I feel we need to head in rather than a negative, passive direction that I felt we were heading in after the two games at the Vic.
“We had a chat after the Middlesbrough game and I said that we needed a bit more intensity and I got that (on Saturday).
“I was pleased with some of the performances. I thought we looked livelier.
“While not perfect, at least we showed signs of taking on board what we were talking about Thursday and Friday.”
Bradford’s fluidity and combination work in the final third was representative of the higher league that they play in compared to Pools who struggled to sustain pressure in attack.
The trio of Billy Clarke, Billy Knott and Mark Yeates were a constant threat and they had the added bonus of the height of striker James Hanson.
Physicality and robustness is certain to be a feature that Stevenage deploy next week and coping with Hanson a week prior is a perfect warm-up.
“I know how Bradford play and it was a completely different challenge to the two previous games,” he went on.
“It was about dealing with the first ball to James Hanson and then the second one.
“It gives us the confidence to build into the week because Stevenage will be a physical battle.”