Hartlepool Utd boss promises changes for Leyton Orient trip

Paul Murray turns away from a Notts County player to pass the ball. Picture by FRANK REID
Paul Murray turns away from a Notts County player to pass the ball. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper will this weekend call into question the “bottle” and “desire” of his players – with the manager promising changes at Leyton Orient.

Paul Murray is set to return in a bid to bring some “old school” values to a side which Cooper fears could cost him his job.

The Scot refused to mask his fury following Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat at Notts County, again threatening his players with the exit door should they not respond to his brutal truths.

Murray, at 35, was the only positive to emerge from the trip to Nottingham, and the Player of the Season will almost certainly win a recall at Brisbane Road on Saturday.

“I said in the dressing room after the game, if anyone is disappointed at not playing then it’s Paul Murray,” Cooper told SportMail today.

“But Paul’s a bit older now and if we play a certain system and he doesn’t play then that’s my decision.

“But I put Paul on at half-time, he’s 35, and he did very well, getting on the ball and getting it about.

“He’s a great pro. But he’s old school, not new school.”

Asked if there would be further changes, Cooper came back: “There are a couple of options.

“If players are not doing well enough then someone else will get a chance.

“If they don’t perform and they haven’t got the bottle to deal with a bit of pressure then they can get lost as well.

“It’s the desire as well, there’s got to be more. I care, they should too.”

Cooper could also consider starting berths for Nathan Luscombe and Luke James in East London.

Both players joined Murray as second-half introductions at Meadow Lane and they will be hoping for a recall.

Meanwhile, Neil Austin remains a doubt for the trip to the capital having missed Tuesday’s game because of a calf problem.