Cooper: I’d love Hartlepool Utd fans to be 12th man just like Portsmouth

Colin Cooper on the side line against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper on the side line against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper would love to see Hartlepool United’s fans ‘do a Pompey’ and be their team’s 12th man this Saturday.

Pools have one of the most difficult challenges of the season when they play host to promotion favourites Chesterfield at Victoria Park.

It comes on the back of a four-match losing run for Pools but Portsmouth proved what was possible at the weekend.

Pompey had not scored at home for over five hours but, roared on by a 15,000 crowd, they beat Pools 1-0 to push themselves closer to safety.

Even in some of the tense moments at Fratton Park they never stopped getting behind the fallen giants.

Numbers-wise Pools only have around a quarter of Andy Awford’s blue and white army, but the fans in the Mill House, Cyril Knowles and Town End stands can play a vocal role, especially with the Spirites bringing a large contingent.

“Portsmouth are a fantastic club and I like Andy, we share similar beliefs, and I genuinely wish them well,” Cooper told SportMail.

“They have tumbled down the leagues but to get 15,000 fans there now in League Two shows the feeling the people have for the club.

“We’re getting 3,500-ish and I’d love to see more people coming to the Vic, but that’s where were are at the moment.

“We had a great run of form at home until losing the last two, both games fans will recognise should not have been defeats.

“We will continue to try to play good football – one of my aims is to send the fans home happy on a Saturday.

“We will prepare well this week, try to play the football we want to and see if we can get something out of it.

“Our fans, on the whole, have been behind the team all season – they have seen what

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we are trying to do and the football we are looking to play.

“The supporters are important.

“I want to see people keep coming to the Vic and continue to get behind us.”

Despite the losing sequence, Cooper remains positive ahead of the showdown with third-placed Chesterfield.

“Some are making a bigger deal of it than I am,” he said.

“Of the last four games, we have lost three by the odd goal.

“I was disappointed on Saturday at Portsmouth

“At Oxford we were in contention throughout, we should have beaten Mansfield and created chances against Cheltenham.”