COLIN Cooper is adamant he will select the “right team” for Hartlepool United’s clash with bottom of the table Northampton Town on Saturday after admitting it didn’t “quite happen” last time out.
Pools were soundly beaten 2-0 by Newport County in last Friday night’s Sky Bet League Two match in South Wales and Cooper is looking to make sure his players get back to winning ways at Victoria Park against The Cobblers.
Cooper made two changes to the starting line-up against Newport with on-loan Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess and winger Jack Compton returning in place of veteran defender Sam Collins and Jonathan Franks.
The Pools gaffer made the changes in a bid to freshen the team up, for his side’s third game in six days following cup matches against Notts County and Rotherham United.
But the 46-year-old admitted it didn’t work out for his side, who struggled to cope with Newport’s direct and pacy approach to the opening 30 minutes.
Cooper insists he will be carefully picking his team for this weekend’s game against Northampton, who prop up the League Two table after collecting just 13 points from
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the opening 16 matches.
The former Middlesbrough defender said he is also pleased if the players dropped from the team were unhappy as it shows they are “desperate” to play.
Cooper said: “The attempt was made to freshen the team up.
“I have to look and say was it the right thing to do? I felt as though it was.
“I’m sure the two players who didn’t start may not agree with me, but I’m pleased if they don’t, because it means they desperately want to play.
“Freshening the team up was the idea but I think for the first time, when we have had to make one or two changes, it hasn’t quite happened.
“We’ll have a look and make sure we get the right team on the pitch for the home game against Northampton.”
Saturday’s match at Victoria Park will be a different test to the one encountered at Newport County, whose high-intensity approach proved too much for Cooper’s men, who fell behind to a 6th minute Harry Worley header.
Conor Washington sealed the victory for County in the second half but management and players alike were refusing to blame the recent gruelling schedule.
Instead, they said they simply didn’t reach their own high standards set in recent weeks.
Last Friday’s match was Pools’ third in six days following the FA Cup first round match against Notts County, which they won 3-2, and the 2-1 defeat by Rotherham United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last Tuesday.