Callum Cooke 'playing with a smile on my face' after inspiring Hartlepool United to 'massive' win over Rochdale

You cannot underestimate the significance of Hartlepool United’s victory over relegation rivals Rochdale according to match winner Callum Cooke who has revealed he is playing with a smile on his face once again.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Cooke curled in a delightful free kick to seal a 2-1 win for Hartlepool at the Crown Oil Arena having earlier assisted Rollin Menayese.

Keith Curle’s side had to dig in during the second half after Ian Henderson levelled the scores with a superb back-heeled attempt before Cooke stole the show, wheeling away in celebration in front of over 600 travelling Hartlepool supporters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Forget about my personal performance, this was a massive win,” said Cooke.

Callum Cooke scored his first league goal for Hartlepool United in the win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)Callum Cooke scored his first league goal for Hartlepool United in the win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)
Callum Cooke scored his first league goal for Hartlepool United in the win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)

“Us against Rochdale and Gillingham against Colchester, four teams playing each other who are down at the bottom, and we’ve pulled three points clear of that drop zone now. And with two home games coming up, it’s absolutely massive.

“We can’t underestimate how big a result this is. We’re doing something right and it’s a credit, not just to the players, but the staff and the fans sticking with us because it’s been a tough season. Fingers crossed we can really kick on now and pull well away from the drop zone.”

Cooke added to The Mail: “We’re finding different ways to win.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We could have folded and they could have kicked on, or we could have drawn the game 1-1, but we haven’t.

Callum Cooke says Hartlepool United cannot underestimate the importance of their win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)Callum Cooke says Hartlepool United cannot underestimate the importance of their win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)
Callum Cooke says Hartlepool United cannot underestimate the importance of their win over Rochdale. (Credit: Mike Morese | MI News)

“We said before the game let’s go out and back the Crawley game up, which was another big game, and we’ve done that.”

Cooke’s strike 10 minutes from time was his first league goal for the club after joining on a free transfer in the summer following his Bradford City exit.

But having made a number of assists which have also contributed to Hartlepool securing back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since February, the 25-year-old is starting to demonstrate why he was considered a significant signing at the Suit Direct Stadium with Cooke, himself, pleased he was able to share such a special moment with the travelling supporters.

Read More
Hartlepool United player rating photo gallery: 'Special' 'Monstrous' - Pools sco...
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The last couple of games I'm starting to affect things more with my numbers,” said Cooke.

“It’s not all about that though, it’s the all round package. Take my goal and assist away and I thought I was helping the team positively, getting my foot on the ball, making things happen, taking the pressure off the back lads in the second half, so my all round play is in a good place at the minute.

“I’m just playing with a smile on my face again at the end of the day. As everybody says, if you’re happy on the pitch and off the pitch you’re going to be performing and thankfully that’s what’s happening for me.

“I think the club, in general, is a happier place. Winning breeds that feeling and it makes you happy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“You saw the scenes at the end, that’s what it’s all about. Scoring that goal and running over in front of the fans was unbelievable. I felt on top of the world. It felt like there were more than 600, it felt like there were 6,000 there, it was that loud.

“But I feel like we’re getting that connection back and we’ll hopefully back this up with two home games coming up.”

Related topics: