Hartlepool United’s Jack Compton to remain on penalties ahead of Nottingham Forest tie

Jack Compton in action against Preston North End  .Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Compton in action against Preston North End .Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper says Jack Compton will remain as Hartlepool United penalty taker – if the winger wants to do so.

Pools take on Championship outfit Nottingham Forest this evening in a Capital One Cup first-round tie which could go all the way to a penalty shootout.

It was Compton who missed Pools’ only spot-kick of the summer warm-up matches during the 1-0 defeat to Preston North End.

But Cooper insists he will allow his players to decide between themselves who takes on the responsibility from 12 yards.

“The players practised some penalties during pre-season and we all watched Jack take a few and said ‘no-one is going to save them’,” revealed the boss.

“For his one against Preston he was unlucky, he lashed it in the same corner he had been going and the goalie guessed right and saved it.

“I believe Neil (Austin) was the regular penalty taker last season and there are others who will fancy it, I’m sure.

“But they can sort it out amongst themselves who is going to take them.

“If someone has the courage to take penalties then fair play to them.

“It’s the one who steps up, that’s the decision.

“If you don’t want a free shot from 12 yards as a forward-thinking player then why not?

“So if someone wants to put themselves on the line then I’m happy with that.”

At the other end of the pitch, however, Pools have now conceded penalties in their last three matches, including Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Rochdale in the League Two opener.

And Cooper admits it is an area of concern.

“It’s something we’ve talked about as I understand a lot of penalties were conceded last season as well,” he went on.

“When the ball comes in your box you have to be in a good position.

“If you’re not then you don’t go to ground and give people an opportunity to fall over.

“Like we’ve said, it’s about learning lessons.”