Neale Cooper rallies Pools troops for Scunthorpe battle

NOTT HAPPY: Neale Cooper shows his frustration from the sidelines as Pools fall to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County. Picture by FRANK REID
NOTT HAPPY: Neale Cooper shows his frustration from the sidelines as Pools fall to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Notts County. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper insists his players will not be allowed to forget the nightmare of Notts County – and will call on them to bury that hurt against Scunthorpe United tomorrow (kick off 3pm).

Last weekend’s postponement at Leyton Orient means Pools have embarked on something of an inadvertent early-season break.

But, while memory of the sorry 2-0 defeat at Meadow Lane may have faded, Cooper is adamant his players owe himself, themselves and the club’s supporters a much-improved display against the rock-bottom Iron.

“The players won’t forget about Notts County, not a chance,” the Scot told SportMail when asked if emotions had cooled during the past 10 days.

“That’s the way I am. They knew how I felt after that game and we’ve got to see a response to that.

“We wanted the Orient game to prove it and we were disappointed when that was postponed.

“I sensed there would be a response at Orient but now we’ve got to produce that tomorrow.”

The performance at Notts County provoked an astonishing post-game blast from the manager.

Cooper called into question the mentality of his players during that listless outing, and the subject of mental resolve is something the boss is keen to talk about.

“I want character this weekend, come out and show me a reaction,” he said.

“We want more mental toughness, it’s a big thing in football.

“You can watch all the teams you want and prepare as well as you can, but it’s how you turn up for the game.

“You can have the best scouting reports, the best profiles and everything, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t perform.

“I say to the players and it’s something I used to say to myself, ‘if you play better than your direct opponent and you come out on top then you’ve done your job’.

“Win your battles - left-back against right-winger, right-back against left-winger, centre-backs against strikers, it’s so important all over the park.”

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