Big Ade Akinfenwa threat lies in wait for Hartlepool United at Wimbledon

POWERHOUSE: Wimbledon's Ade Akinfenwa (left)
POWERHOUSE: Wimbledon's Ade Akinfenwa (left)

YOU wouldn’t like to have to carry him out of a fire.

Or mark Ade Akinfenwa on a Saturday afternoon. But the latter is the task facing Hartlepool United’s leaky defence tomorrow.

To say Akinfenwa is a big unit would be an understatement – the veteran Wimbledon striker is a man mountain.

The much-travelled Londoner is back in his home city spearheading the attack for the Wombles – and doing it well given they are going nicely in fifth place.

Pools boss Colin Cooper is well aware of the threat the 32-year-old poses, along with fellow striker Matt Tubbs.

“Akinfenwa has been around the block,” Cooper told SportMail. “He knows the division, he knows how to score goals.

“Having stepped up with Gillingham last year and now back with Wimbledon he will be feeling comfortable and confident.

“He notches his share of goals every season, and with him and Tubbs they have goalscorers.

“We have to be aware of that.

“We have to be solid and we also have to look to cause them problems.

“Akinfenwa will be a handful for any centre-half because he knows how to play and he will score goals – we just hope this weekend is one when he is kept in check.”

A trip to Kingsmeadow is not the sort of assignment you would look for after three straight League Two defeats and no goals scored – but Cooper says Pools will “crack on”.

He said: “We’ve had a couple of honest heart-to-heart chats with the lads.

“We accept what we have delivered isn’t quite good enough.

“Port Vale wiped the floor with us but in the other matches, we’ve been in them.

“In the home games, we’ve given Bury and Dagenham goal starts and then been hit by a sucker punch [in the second half] when we’ve been in the ascendency.

“That can’t happen – we’ve got to stop giving teams a goal start

“You need to get your noses in front – that’s the first challenge, get the first goal and see what happens then.

“There were little signs the other night, we played some nice football created four or five half chances, which, on another day, someone may take one or two of them.

“It didn’t happen, so we have to dust ourselves down and crack on

“We are only three games into the league programme.

“Basically, it’s a case of ‘that’s where we are, what are we going to do about it?’.

“Do we roll our sleeves up and go to Wimbledon and give it everything we’ve got, work for each other and the club?

“Or do we pack in? We aint packing in.”