NEALE Cooper insists you will win nothing with a bunch of “nice guys” – and that is what he fears Hartlepool United are.
The Scot is still finding his feet at Victoria Park following his unveiling as manager seven days ago.
Cooper, though, has been forced to make a double-quick assessment of his resources, given the timing of his mid-season appointment.
Already he has watched the side slump to back-to-back defeats and for the first time this season, slip closer to the relegation zone than they are the play-offs.
The 48-year-old is determined to stop the rot – starting with Saturday’s visit of Rochdale – but believes his players have to toughen up if results are to change.
“I’ve said what a nice bunch of boys they are, but nice boys don’t win you things,” he told SportMail today.
“I’ve only been here since last Thursday but it gives me an eye to look at things and see the whole scenario.
“They’re an honest, nice set of guys – but give me a team of ruffians that win games, that’s what matters.
“It’s much nicer working with the lads who seem to be quite genuine and you get on with, but you have to be winners.
“You have to have that mentality and it has got to hurt when you get beaten.
“Does it hurt people nowadays? It hurts me and I hope it hurts them.
“They’re a genuine bunch and I think it does.
“But I’ve got to do my utmost to lift them and I will get them up. I’m an upbeat person.
“We’ve got a good few days to work on that and I’m sure by the time Saturday comes around they’ll be fired up and desperate to put things right.”
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S SPORTMAIL ...