GROUCH POTATO - Hartlepool Utd boss hid himself away watching TV after Chesterfield defeat

Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper

NEALE Cooper has warned his players that he wants to avoid a repeat of last weekend when he hid himself away in his flat watching television.

Such was the Scot’s anger and irritation following last Saturday’s defeat to Chesterfield that he didn’t have the enthusiasm to venture out for a meal in town and then refused to speak to his players on Monday morning.

Cooper hopes they, too, endured an equally depressing weekend, and that is why he will lay down an ultimatum to his men before tomorrow’s trip to Tranmere Rovers.

“I need a massive performance from them tomorrow – they’ve got a choice to make, either see the season out or put it in and feel good about themselves,” he told SportMail today.

“It’s been a long week for myself. Sometimes if you have a game on a Tuesday you can get it out of your system.

“I came in on Monday and didn’t really speak to anyone and the boys were wondering what was wrong.

“That’s the first time they’ve seen me like that.

“They were saying to Micky (Barron) ‘the gaffer hasn’t spoken to us’. If they think they’ve seen a different side to

me then so be it.

“I’m usually very upbeat, but that hurt last Saturday.

“I was stuck in my wee flat all night watching The Voice – I like to be out on a Saturday night but I couldn’t face it.

“It got worse because I had to watch Britain’s Got Talent after it.

“A weekend is meant to be a nice time if things go well.

“Then on Sunday I watched a John Wayne film, Circus World.

“I was totally depressed. If it doesn’t hurt you then it’s not right.

“It does hurt me. It hurts supporters. If it doesn’t it’s not worth it.

“But the boys have a chance to rectify that tomorrow and I want to see more from all of them.”

Pools have three matches left to play before the curtain comes down on another campaign of inconsistency.

The highest possible finish available to them is 10th, and Cooper insists there is still a lot to play for.

“People say ‘it’s coming towards the end of the season, it looks as though you’re playing it out’,” he went on.

“I don’t want that. There’s a lot of contracts up here.

“I need better from them, collectively.

“It hurt me that reaction to going behind last weekend, they seemed to hide a wee bit.

“If that was me I’d say ‘here, give me the ball’.

“They know what kind of character I am and I want to see the same from them.

“But it’s three draws and three losses now and we need to get a win as soon as possible.”