FEED THE 5,000 - Hartlepool Utd wants to produce team that will draw Pools fans in their thousands

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper

COLIN Cooper would “love to put out a team” Hartlepool United fans come and watch in their thousands.

Pools attracted a season-high attendance of 4,864 to Easter Monday’s critical League Two clash against Morecambe at Victoria Park.

The fans witnessed – and took a full role in – an amazing as 10-man Pools fought back from 1-0 down to beat the Shrimps and secure their Football League status.

Attendances have generally hovered around the 3,400 mark but, boosted by the Pack the Park initiative with fans getting in for a fiver, the crowd-size and atmosphere was incredible.

“My personal opinion is that there should be 5,000 coming to watch this team,” Cooper told SportMail.

“I would love to put out a team people are happy to watch.

“If we can get that crowd in through the gates and provide that atmosphere then there are some players here who you can see soak it up and thrive on it

“I think everyone’s enjoyed Monday.

“If we’ve done something to encourage those extra fans to come back then great.

“Even when we were down to 10 men, we still took the game to Morecambe and it was exciting.

“That’s great credit to the players, but the fans do give you that impetus.

“If those 1,300, 1,400 choose to come and watch us again then brilliant, the more the merrier.

“After Monday there is no reason why people won’t come back.

“There was heart, spirit, passion and an awful lot of technical ability, from the players, young and old.”

Monday’s victory, allied to

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defeats for their rivals at the bottom, ensured Pools safety.

It also meant that Cooper can start preparing for next season and make his proposals to chairman, Ken Hodcroft, and chief executive, Russ Green.

“Now I’ll be able to put the plans I’ve made into place,” said the manager, who has been keen for some time to get the wheels turning on pre-season and squad changes.

“It’s just taken six games to be able to get into the position to implement them.”

The 47-year-old said he was always confident Pools would get over the finishing line, despite the losing run.

“I think we’ve been looking to get to this point for six games,” said Cooper, who takes Pools to Plymouth this Saturday before ending the season with more Devon opposition a week on Saturday against Exeter at the Vic.

“I wasn’t looking over my shoulder.

“It might be flippant to say it now but I think there will be one or two clubs who will not get to 49 points.

“We should be finishing in the top half of this league with the talent that we’ve got.

“The last six games have been very difficult because you can see confidence levels dropping.

“But the plus point is that when we’ve needed everybody to step up, young and old, Monday was the day it’s happened.

“And I’m chuffed it was in front of an extra 1,300, 1,400 people.”