Colin Cooper looks to Hartlepool United to add to Bristol Rovers problems

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 hopes his Hartlepool United side can give Bristol Rovers boss John Ward even more to worry about.

Pools head to the Memorial Ground where he believes a “siege mentallity” is growing after unrest among Rovers fans.

The Gas may be unbeaten on home soil in the Sky Bet League, but they have lost their last three games, all on the road.

A hard-to-stomach defeat at rivals City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has been followed by back-to-back league losses at Plymouth and Dagenham & Redbridge.

Experienced boss John Ward seems to be feeling the pressure, saying in a BBC interview: “The fans are upset and they’ve let me know that.

“That’s fine, I understand that.

“I just wish they wouldn’t swear at me because it’s not necessary.”

Those results leave Rovers only two points and three places above Pools so is this a good time for Cooper to be taking his team to the Memorial Ground?

“For John to come out and say that, it means he could be battening down the hatches and looking to generate a siege mentallity,” said Cooper.

“He’ll have seen our result and know that we are feeling good about ourselves.

“What’s happened [with Rovers] could go either way for us.

“If we can go there and frustrate Rovers then hopefully the fans will continue that frustration.

“But if we go thee and give them an opportunity to get their noses in front then that could all change.

“John knows what he’s doing and I know he’ll have his team prepared.

“We must be 100 per cent on our game, we can’t afford to even switch off 10 per cent.

“But I now we have the quality to get something from the match.”

Rovers are likely to be a little on edge, especially if things are not going their way.

Pools, on the other hand, head to Bristol with confidence up a level or two after their crucial win over Accrington, which lifted them out of the bottom two.

“I want to see us continue on from what we did,” said Cooper, who has taken two points on the road.

“But playing away from home is a completely different scenario.

“The onus is on the home team, [to come forward] so you have got make yourself difficult to beat.

“But I know we’ve got people who can create chances.

“I like us to get on the front foot but sometimes playing away from home that can be difficult.

“I know John will be trying to play on the fact we’ve had a long journey and he will look to start quickly to try to shake us.

“But I also know we are good enough to get on the front foot and play football and I know we are good enough to frustrate them as well.

“I think there will be a siege mentallity there.

“John has felt the frustration of the fans and he’ll make sure he’s got his team absolutely spot on.

“For me, it’s a case of continuing and building on things.

“Hopefully we will get the chance to put an impression on the game and ensure we don’t lose.”