Neale Cooper frustrated with poor form of Pools “game changers”

SET TO MISS OUT: Jonathan Franks. Picture by FRANK REID
SET TO MISS OUT: Jonathan Franks. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper once again bemoaned the performance of his supposed “game changers” with his side now without a goal from open play in over seven hours.

Pools created precious little during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Crawley Town and they are now the division’s second-lowest scorers with just 10 from 13 games.

Jonathan Franks and Ryan Noble were again a particular point of ire for the boss when he came to reflect on the latest display shorn of quality in the final third.

Both players were substituted during the second half against Crawley, and Cooper said: “Jonny Franks isn’t having a good time of it.

“Every team we play is a threat – Tuesday at Leyton Orient their wideman was excellent.

“On Saturday it was Nicky Adams for Crawley, good players who get by defenders.

“It was there for Jonny to do it a few times and he passed it back.

“I’ve spoken to him about it and he knows it needs to be much better.

“But when? We need to see that reaction now.

“Ryan came off again and he wasn’t happy, but he hasn’t been playing well.

“I understand if he’s not happy, but he doesn’t come off if he’s playing well.

“Do better and you stay on the pitch.

“He just doesn’t seem himself.

“And these are players who can change a game for us, important players.”

The goal which separated the sides at the weekend arrived in the 14th minute when Hope Akpan smashed into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after Pools had failed to clear from a corner.

There was a mini rally after the break and Neil Austin went close on a couple of occasions, but, on the whole, Pools were wasteful in possession, a point which annoyed the manager.

“We knew how they would play, so we tried to get balls down the sides of them, but we were too slow in build-up - it’s got to be quicker,” said the Scot.

“Basic, simple errors cost us. We gave the ball back to them under no pressure. Quality from certain players isn’t good enough.

“In the second-half we tried to change it, but what’s the options – so many of them are having a hard time.

“We went a bit more direct and looked more a threat.

“It was when we played too much football we looked a danger to ourselves.”

Pools were without Peter Hartley (ankle) and Paul Murray (calf) at the weekend, although it is hoped both will return for tomorrow’s trip to bottom club Bury.