Hartlepool Utd’s Cooper faces Swindon’s Di Canio in the dugout

Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID
Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID
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NEALE Cooper believes fans could be best off buying tickets for the dugout area tomorrow – as he comes face to face with Swindon Town’s Paolo Di Canio.

The fiery Scot and the feisty Italian have never crossed managerial swords and Cooper admits there is certainly the potential for fireworks.

“I watched him on the telly the other night and he was going a bit mad,” said the Pools chief, having seen the former Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham forward perform his colourful array of touchline antics during Tuesday’s 3-0 League Cup win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

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“It should be a good confrontation tomorrow – buy tickets for the dugout this weekend, there could be a better fight on the sideline!

“He’s a passionate guy. I remember watching him up at Celtic and he was like that.

“But he’s passionate about his club and there’s nothing wrong with that.

“He is a tremendous character and was a tremendous player.

“He’s done a great job at Swindon as well and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

The Robins arrive in League One as fourth-tier champions and they have invested heavily over the summer.

So much so, the signings of Huddersfield Town pair Tommy Miller and Gary Roberts, as well as Yeovil Town’s Andy Williams, has seen bookies install the Wiltshire club as third favourites for the title.

And Cooper went on: “They are a strong side.

“They’ll expect to be up there this season and they will be pushing.

“They have brought in a lot of good players - Tommy Miller and Williams from Yeovil, who I liked,

“They have Paul Benson up front and Alan Navarro in the middle who scored two the other night, they’ve got good players all over the park.

“But I’m more concerned with what we do and it’s up to us, at home, to take the game to them.”