COLIN Cooper has revealed that his advice to goalkeeper Scott Flinders is to remain at Hartlepool United next season.
And the Pools boss fully expects the Player of the Year to do so.
Flinders was outstanding last term, the runaway winner of each of the club’s annual awards.
That recognition duly prompted interest from elsewhere and the 27-year-old could yet exit Victoria Park should a sizeable offer land on Clarence Road.
But Cooper believes Flinders would be better off entering into a fifth season with Pools.
“As far as I’m aware Scott will be here,” Cooper told SportMail today.
“His contract is of a decent length.
“I would suggest that, for someone who had the season Scott did, I would just be looking forward to playing.
“It’s easy for me to say, but I wouldn’t be looking to go to pastures new.
“I would think ‘I’m in a place I feel happy, I’ve got a good rapport with the supporters and I would want to be one of the players who catapulted the club back into League One’.
“I hope that is the case because Scott is a very, very, very good goalkeeper.”
Flinders did not feature during last week’s tour of Holland.
Despite travelling with the squad and training each day, a minor hip complaint kept him out of the competitive action.
Andy Raffery – back after a season-long knee layoff - deputised and the No.2 was the star of the show during Saturday’s goalless draw with Telstar.
And, of Flinders, Cooper explained: “Scott came back in good shape but pushed himself really hard during the running sessions and unfortunately niggled the top of his hip.
“So if Andy needs the games then why would we push Scott?
“Apparently he went out to Holland last year and injured himself, so we didn’t want that to happen.
“The right thing was to say to Scott ‘you didn’t quite make it to play here but let’s get you fit for the next game’, which, for him, will probably be Middlesbrough next weekend.
“So that’s the aim and I think he’ll be okay for then.
“Andy has done himself a world of good with his performance in Holland but Scott is a top goalkeeper.”