NEALE Cooper believes Hartlepool United will come back better and stronger when they go to Bournemouth for their next League One match.
Pools today find themselves at the wrong end of the table after suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 home defeat by Carlisle United.
Cooper’s side played their finest football of the season – and arguably the whole year – against the Cumbrians.
But the mood went from admiration to anguish as Carlisle fought back from a goal down to snatch a scarcely-deserved three points.
Now, Cooper wants to see Pools carry the positives into Saturday’s trip to Dean Court and work to fix the negatives.
So can Pools bounce back.
“Definitely,” started the Pools chief.
“I think they’ll [come back and] show a bit of character.
“They are all as frustrated as I am.
“I’m upset for the boys because there was a lot of good stuff against Carlisle and we’ve got nothing to show for it.”
James Poole’s superbly-taken goal five minutes before half-time had put Pools in charge.
They had played some dazzling football but did not get their rewards, with Steve Howard hitting the bar, Antony Sweeney going wide with a header and Andy Monkhouse having a rasping volley saved by Mark Gillespie.
They were just three of a multitude of opportunities created by the home side, who then fell away in the last 15 minutes.
Pools conceded an equaliser to Danny Cadamarteri before having Neil Austin sent off and Peter Hartley helped off before leaking a winner 15 minutes from time by former star Matty Robson.
“Some of the football we played has been the best we’ve done,” explained Cooper.
“But at the end of the day we’ve lost the match.
“The fans are frustrated and so are we, we should have had that match won ages before.
“We need discipline, we are 1-0 up but we have six players charging forward – we lose the ball and they come at us [and equalise].
“In the matter of a minute or two everything changed, but that’s football.
“I couldn’t have gone into the dressing room and ranted and raged because of how we played and the chances we created.
“I was angry, only because I could not believe we lost that game.”
SEE Monday’s Mail for full story and Pools v Carlisle match report and analysis