Hartlepool Utd boss says rising attendances show players are doing the business

Colin Cooper gives instruction from the sidelines during the game against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper gives instruction from the sidelines during the game against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper believes rising attendances at Victoria Park show his Hartlepool United players are doing the business on the pitch – but he can’t promise fans a “pretty game” today.

The Pools gaffer is “loving” the atmosphere inside the Clarence Road club on match days, especially during the recent spell of five matches unbeaten on home soil.

Last weekend’s home match against Portsmouth saw 4,126 supporters come through the turnstiles, the first time the attendance has been over 4,000 this season.

A similar crowd was expected for today’s second round FA Cup match between Pools and Coventry City at The Vic (3pm KO), with the winner making it into the hat for 
the third round of the famous cup competition.

Trimdon-born Cooper is chuffed with the rising crowds and hopes The Vic is once again bouncing this afternoon.

The 46-year-old said: “I think last weekend was the first time that we have had more than 4,000 through the door.

“We have said from day one we want to try and do something that the supporters want to come and watch.

“Bit by bit, we are creeping up, and our job as a club, as a team, as a bunch of staff, is to try and keep the fans enthused by what they are seeing.

“The FA Cup adds a bit of extra spice.

“It is the first weekend in December so, with all due respect and I don’t want to sound in any way shape or form sexist, but maybe the wives will go shopping and the husbands will go to Hartlepool and bring their sons with them.

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“And if the wives don’t fancy shopping just yet, then bring them as well.

“The more people we get through the turnstiles is good for our football club.

“I love the atmosphere and last Saturday in the second half when we were pushing Portsmouth to try and get in front, the atmosphere was excellent.

“We appreciate every single one of the supporters and we want to give them something they are happy to watch.

“So far, so good, but it would be lovely to think we could have a little bit of an upset and get through to Round Three and give them something really exciting to look forward to in the New Year.”

Sky Bet League Two Pools go into the match fully fit, while the Sky Blues from League One are facing a striker shortage with first choice strikers Leon Clarke, Callum Wilson and on-loan Chris Dagnall all missing through injury, suspension or not being allowed to play by their parent club.

Cooper said: “We’ll attempt to give Coventry a football match but it won’t be a pretty football match.

“It will be a match with two teams going at it hammer and tongs to try and get through to round three.”