Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper angry and frustrated after 2-0 Plymouth Argyle defeat

UNDERFIRE: Colin Cooper against Plymouth Argyle. Picture by FRANK REID
UNDERFIRE: Colin Cooper against Plymouth Argyle. Picture by FRANK REID

UNDER-FIRE Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper was left “angry and frustrated” after his side dropped into the relegation zone.

A miserable and long week on the road was capped off with a 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at Home Park on Saturday.

The result meant Pools slipped into the Sky Bet League Two drop zone, sitting second-bottom just above rivals Carlisle United.

Defeat heaped more pressure on to the shoulders of Cooper and owners IOR who need to bring in new signings to bolster a squad shy on depth and quality.

Goals from Marvin Morgan and a Nathan Thomas strike on the counter-attack secured the three points for John Sheridan’s Argyle.

It was actually an improved performance after the miserable 5-1 defeat at Northampton Town last week but Pools still came away with nothing.

Despite enjoying more possession they didn’t do much with it and clear chances were few and far between.

Asked if he was confident his side had enough about them to climb the table, Cooper said: “You can only keep trying.

“The one thing I said in the dressing room is that if you want to play football there is a certain amount of bravery needed and we could have done that an awful lot more.

“Certainly across our midfield there was space to play, but we didn’t play enough.

“Be braver to get on the turn and play forward rather than get the ball facing your own goal.

“We keep working on it, the first point of call is to keep the ball out of our goal.

“But the way they scored their opening goal - as a defender - doesn’t leave me overjoyed.”

Cooper didn’t have any complaints about the second goal, which was a tight onside call from the linesman, but he was left fuming that Pools didn’t make the most of their possession second-half.

He was also critical of Jonathan Franks’ costly miss just before half-time, the striker later subbed in the second-half.

“We did enough to get something from the game,” said Cooper.

“We had plenty of the ball, but didn’t do enough with it. When chances come your way you have to score.

“It wasn’t for the want of trying, but when you are one-on-one with the goalkeeper that chance has to end up in the back off the net.

“To go in at 1-1, then I would have been very confident of coming away with three points.

“We then had to press and create things – which we did – but the final bit just wasn’t good enough and we got caught on the counter attack.

“The first 15 minutes were difficult and Marvin Morgan has time and space in the box to turn and get a shot off and that should not really happen.

“It’s a good lesson for Jordan [Richards] – don’t allow them to get a shot off.

“I’m not going to complain about the second goal, but I will with the first one as a former defender that shouldn’t happen.

“The second goal sees Plymouth over the line when we should be back in it ourselves.

“I am angry and frustrated about not getting in the game when we had enough of the ball.

“It’s about making the right decisions, the right pass, the right ball.”