Hartlepool Utd boss hopes to reward fans at York City

SCOUTING MISSION ... Colin Cooper.
SCOUTING MISSION ... Colin Cooper.

COLIN Cooper admits that the positivity of the club’s supporters deserves reward on the pitch – and that starts in front of 1,500 followers at York City tomorrow.

The Poolie faithful are set to descend on Bootham Crescent in large number for the derby date, hoping to see their side record their first win of the League Two campaign.

Cooper insists that a three-game losing start to the season has not increased pressure, but he nonetheless would dearly love a points-return against the Minstermen.

“I don’t feel pressure, I still feel excitement,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback but that only lasts so long, you have to get results.

“So the sooner we get our first points on board the better, it will help to settle everyone down.

“The quicker we do that the more people will buy into things even more.”

And, of the club’s fans, Cooper went on: “The one thing myself and Craig (Hignett) have said is that the support since we’ve got here has been terrific.

“Tomorrow promises to be a brilliant day for them and hopefully we give them something to go home happy with.”

For that to happen, though, Pools will have to score a goal, an achievement they are yet to celebrate during their opening two matches in the bottom tier.

Cooper is still searching for his preferred pairing in attack and could start with Steve Howard and James Poole against Nigel Worthington’s side.

“We still have to find the right combination in attack,” he added.

“We’ve got five strikers and it may be a case of using one, two or three of them.

“I believe that Andy Monkhouse can score goals, Nialle Rodney will have an impact and big Stevie is proven and he’s getting there.”

Meanwhile, with Tony Sweeney (calf) sidelined, Cooper is set to hand the armband duty to either goalkeeper Scott Flinders or defender Neil Austin, as he explained: “The obvious candidates are Aussie and Scott.

“I didn’t see any issue when Tony went off and Aussie took over last weekend.

“Both him and Scott are fantastic pros.

“The armband is for someone who has the respect of the dressing-room.

“They will hopefully be one of 11 leaders tomorrow and that’s what I’ll be looking for.”