COBBLERS! – Hartlepool Utd boss writes off ‘flat’ Northampton Town defeat

Luke Williams in action against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke Williams in action against Northampton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper says Hartlepool United will “start again” and look to re-ignite their end-of-season push against Torquay United.

Pools saw their impressive four-match unbeaten run end on Saturday when they lost 2-0 at the Sky Bet League’s bottom club, Mathias Kouo-Doumbe and Bren Dickenson scoring either side of half-time for Northampton Town.

Cooper admitted his squad looked “flat” at Sixfields but backed them to return to life against the division’s second bottom side this Saturday at Victoria Park.

“The boys were very honest afterwards,” said boss Colin Cooper. “For whatever reason they didn’t play like they are capable of.

“We were all disappointed and it’s not a feeling we have had on too many occasions this season

“It seemed flat – now it’s my job to make sure we have a spark for the next game.

“There was no real zest about us.

“We can’t do anything about it now, it’s gone.

“But we can expect and hope for a reaction at home next week.

“We haven’t been disappointed too many times this season.

“We left Newport disappointed with the performance and result and it’s the same again. The only other one was Wimbledon, where we played very well but were left puzzled byhow we lost it.

“The players have said how disappointed they are [about Northampton] and they apologise to the fans.

“We had a long and open conversation in the dressing room – the lads are an honest bunch and now we roll our sleeves up and look for three points against Torquay.

“All we can do is dust ourselves down and start again.”

The result did not harm Pools greatly - they remain ninth and are now seven points off the top seven after Southend drew 0-0 at York City.

Cooper and assistant Craig Hignett will dissect the performance on DVD this week but he does not want the players thinking too long and too hard about a depressing afternoon.

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negative and the manager wants a positive reaction.

“We must move forward from this one and draw a line under it,” Cooper explained.

“The next four games are important ones against teams who are like Northampton and fighting for their lives.

“And we have to make sure we don’t allow the opposition to get their noses in front like we did at Northampton.

“We’ll watch this again, it might not be good viewing, but it’s my job to do that and prepare for Torquay.

“We just weren’t us on Saturday.

“I will analyse it and see what we can learn from it and do better but, regarding the lads, we’ve had the discussion in the dressing room and a line has been drawn under it.”

Cooper says he will go through everything in his mind about Saturday in order to try to improve things, including his own decision-making process

The manager traditionally sticks with a successful side but, on this occasion, made two alterations, starting with Michael Duckworth and Jack Barmby, with Jordan Richards and Andy Monkhouse being benched.

“I don’t believe in rotation for the sake of it,” he explained.

“We spoke in the week about freshening things up.

“Everyone’s learning and for me as a manager, if the team is rolling do I need to change it?”