Colin Cooper hopes to make all the miles count with Hartlepool United

Colin Cooper on the sidelines during the game against Accrington Stanley. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper on the sidelines during the game against Accrington Stanley. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper has covered some miles this week.

And he’s looking to make his current road trip count as much as his last one.

The Hartlepool United boss was today en route to Bristol, a 273-mile journey for tomorrow’s League Two match with Rovers.

Cooper goes to the south west on a high - Pools clinched their first Sky Bet League Two win last Saturday against Accrington Stanley and the following day he covered the 13.1 miles of the Great North Run in under two hours.

But there was more to it than a time of one hour 56 minute.

The 46-year-old was running to raise money for the Finlay Cooper Fund, a charity set up by Colin and wife Julie in memory of their son to raise vital cash for children’s causes.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt really humbled, running with the people who ran for the Finlay Cooper Fund,” he said.

“It was a long old day, I left the house at six in the morning and got back at six at night.

“But I have to say the run itself was brilliant.

“There seemed to be a heck of a lot of people on the road this year.

“I started a fair way back to to bob and weave around 50,000 people was very difficult.

“But I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the event.

“I was a bit slower than last year but the frustrating thing is do I enter again next year to see if I can get to the 1:45 mark.

“But it was a great event, a great day and I feel humbled by all the people who ran for the Fund.

“There was great camardarie on the bus on the way there and on the way back.”

Cooper will doubtless be hoping for the same sort of feeling on the coach taking Pools to Bristol and, especially, on the way back if they have a point or three.

His side are chasing their first away win of the season, having got the proverbial monkey off their back last week against bottom-of-the-table Stanley.

And Cooper hopes he’s got the preparation right after arranging a training session today at Rovers’ arch-rivals Bristol City.

“We’ve changed things a little bit from our last long away trip [to Torquay].

“You try to use your friends and people who you know in the game, so I’ve had a word with Sean O’Driscoll at Bristol City.

“He’s kindly allowing us to use the Bristol City training ground for an hour this afternoon.

“We can get down there, get the journey out of our legs, have a training session, a longer rest and then we are ready for tomorrow.

“For Torquay, we tried to break our journey up but we ended up arriving there a bit later than we wanted to.

“But we have changed things around this time and we’ll see how it goes, especially given the fact we have Exeter away in a few weeks.”

Preparation could be a key factor in producing the goods on the field from 3pm.

And Cooper believes his players have got what it takes to get a result against Rovers.

“The one thing I have said is that, looking at what happened after Bradford ‘let’s not make it after the Lord Mayor’s Show’.

“It’s a long trip, a difficult game, but let’s get down there, get ourselves prepared and see if we can come away with something.

“Hopefully it will be all three, but if we can get one, it will be a good point.”