Steve Howard agrees with manager Neale Cooper - Pools need more passion

Steve Howard plays the ball on as Pools look to attack. Picture by FRANK REID

Steve Howard plays the ball on as Pools look to attack. Picture by FRANK REID

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STEVE Howard admits that Hartlepool United’s players need to show more passion on the pitch.

Pools were thumped 5-0 at Preston North End last night with manager Neale Cooper accusing his players of lacking pride in their performance.

Howard agrees with his manager that not enough is said between team-mates in the aftermath of each sorry concession.

And the striker today told SportMail: “We need to start getting angry.

“There were a few heated conversations after the game, but on the pitch we need to start getting aggressive with each other.

“We need to pull each other about and start asking questions of each other.”

Pools had in fact started brightly at Deepdale and opened up the home backline on several occasions before Joel Byrom fired the first on 28 minutes.

The visitors, as Cooper put it, “collapsed” following that breakthrough, and by full-time they had suffered their second 5-0 humiliation of the campaign.

And Howard went on: “It feels like when we go a goal behind we start to struggle.

“We need to forget about the fact they’ve scored and carry on.

“We can’t seem to do that at the moment.”

He continued: “Last night was poor.

“I thought we did okay for the first 20 minutes or so, before the first goal went in.

“We were shocked when they scored because we’d had the upper hand, that was the first chance they’d had.

“But you need to react to that and we didn’t.

“It wasn’t good enough and we know that.

“It’s got to be much better than that, from every one of us.”