Colin Cooper has dream for Victoria Park ahead of first home game against Southend United

Hartlepool United first team boss Colin Cooper at the Vic
Hartlepool United first team boss Colin Cooper at the Vic

COLIN Cooper says he wants to double the 3,500 crowd which is expected for tomorrow’s home curtain-raiser against Southend United (kick-off 3pm).

But that, he admits, will take time.

The Pools boss (left) has revealed that it is his ambition to see attendances soar towards Victoria Park’s 7,800 capacity.

Cooper intends to achieve such lofty gates by implementing a brand of football which he hopes will “excite” the club’s followers.

And, ahead of the Clarence Road opener, he told SportMail: “The majority of fans only get to the Vic so it’s a good opportunity for them to see us and for us to link in with them.

“We want them to feel part of what is a new start and a new era.

“We have to try and provide the fans with some football which they watch and enjoy.

“That is fast, counter-attacking football.

“With that performances and results will hopefully come and it can turn the Vic into a fortress.

“It’s our job to give every one of those fans something they want to come and watch.

“Myself and Craig (Hignett) have to try to turn that 3,000 into 5,000 and then 6,000 and 7,000.

“But first and foremost we want teams to come here and not get an easy ride.”

That starts with the visit of Phil Brown’s Shrimpers.

And Cooper admits the return of the former Poolie adds an extra “spice” to the contest.

“I think it’s automatically one the fans look forward to, first home game of the season on a sunny August afternoon,” he said.

“But there are a few spicy elements to the game with Phil coming back as well.

“He’s got a victory under his belt but we’re looking to get off to a positive start at home.

“I’d like the fans to get down and support us because I believe, if they do stick with us, they’ll get a positive return over the coming weeks and months.”

And, of Brown, Cooper went on: “Phil’s career went on a different path to mine.

“We have met many times and he’s a smashing guy.

“We’ve always got on really well and he’ll certainly get a warm welcome from me and hopefully everyone else.”