Neale Cooper blasts Hartlepool United pussycat players after Preston mauling

GLUM FACES: Neale Cooper (right) and his bench and support staff

GLUM FACES: Neale Cooper (right) and his bench and support staff

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NEALE Cooper today accused some of his players of “kidding” him on – and has questioned whether they want to play for him and Hartlepool United.

The Scot was seething in the wake of last night’s 5-0 drubbing at Preston North End, the second such scoreline this season.

And again, he has candidly invited any player who does not wish to remain at the club to visit his manager’s office and they will duly be shown the door.

Cooper admits his job will be on the line if such pitiful performances continue, and the Pools boss fumed: “That kind of result loses managers their jobs.

“Some of them are kidding me on and I won’t accept that.

“I don’t know what team is going to turn up and that’s scary for a manager.

“This is what I’m scared of – Saturday at Bournemouth I’ve got one of the best teams in the league and then I’ve got a bunch of pussycats.

“They had no pride as far as I could see.

“To me, it doesn’t bother some of them.”

Cooper, whose side are fifth bottom with five points from six matches, went on: “It’s my job at stake at the end of the day.

“I know the big, bad world of football. It doesn’t matter what I did before.

“I’m so happy to be back at this club and it means so much to me.

“So if anyone doesn’t want to be here then they can come and see me and they can walk out of the door.

“If they want to stay then they better start performing and show a bit of bottle and pride for this club.

“This club deserves better and some of them haven’t shown that desire.

“I don’t see that pride.

“I swear, if there are one or two boys who don’t want to play for me – and that’s what it looks like – they can come and knock on my door and they can disappear.”

SEE Wednesday’s Mail for Craig Hope’s match report, analysis and player marks