Back to basics for Hartlepool Utd after defeat to Chesterfield

Chesterfield score their first goal against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID
Chesterfield score their first goal against Hartlepool United. Picture by FRANK REID

BACK to basics. It’s a well-worn phrase.

And Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper will be mentioning it to his players on the training pitches at Maiden Castle this week.

Pools were sunk by two “disappointing” goals on Saturday when Chesterfield won 2-1 at Victoria Park.

Luke James had given Cooper’s side the lead in the 24th minute with an exquisite finish before Liam Cooper was first to react to the loose ball in the six-yard box after he had challenged for a corner from the right.

The winner was just as upsetting to Colin Cooper, Eoin Doyle unmarked to send a lob into the far corner of Andy Rafferty’s net.

“They are goals we should not concede,” said the manager.

“We talk about set-pieces and then concede from one.

“It’s got to be classed as sloppy, the second the same.

“Whether the goal was meant or he was just trying to put the ball in that general area, it’s gone in.

“I’m disappointed from that point of view.

“It’s about doing the basics well.

“Basics are about defending your area, defending your goal and we haven’t done that lately.

“People don’t do it on purpose, but it’s recurring theme.

“It’s another one-goal defeat and I’m frustrated that we scored an excellent goal from Luke and their goals were avoidaable.

“It’s not like we’ve been cut open.

“We did work Thursday and Friday on defending set-pieces, working hard and being organised and we haven’t carried it out.

“We are going to have to make sure we defend our goal better than in recent weeks.

“I won’t criticise individuals, but we have to make sure we don’t give cheap goals away and the last few we have conceded have been fairly cheap.”

Cooper had encouraging words for Scott Harrison, who was making his full debut in place of the injured Christian Burgess, who was ruled out with an ankle injury sustained at Portsmouth.

“Scott did OK,” said Cooper who introduced fellow Sunderland loan player Connor Oliver as a sub late on against the Spireites.

“At times, Scott looked assured and confident and at times he felt the edge of the game.

“Physically and technically he can compete and there’s four tough games for him to compete in.

“On those fronts both he and Connor are capable.’’