Hartlepool Utd boss urges fans not to expect too much from young stars

Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper

NEALE Cooper has urged supporters not to expect too much too soon from Hartlepool United’s young guns.

Fans have enjoyed their first glimpse of teenage talents such as Luke James, Jack Baldwin and Callum Hassan in recent weeks.

And, in the case of James in particular, his impact has been immediate, two man-of-the-match performances and a sizzling strike in the home win over Rochdale have seen to that.

Baldwin, also, has made an impressive start to life as a senior professional and he, too, was bestowed with star-man plaudits following his debut against Colchester United.

Hassan’s arrival was a little more muted, the towering frontman coming on as a late substitute during Saturday’s stalemate at Exeter City.

Nonetheless, it takes to three the number of teenagers handed their Pools bow in the past month.

And, while Cooper harbours no fear when it comes to thrusting his starlets on to the first-team stage, the Pools chief believes it is inevitable that their level of performance will fluctuate.

“I’ve been there myself as a youngster coming into a team and you can be in and out, up and down,” said the 48-year-old, as preparations continued for Saturday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

“That’s to be expected and it’s all part of the learning process.

“Jack and Luke have came in and have done excellently, they really have.

“But they will have off days, older players do as well, and you can’t expect too much from them over a long period at this stage.”

Full story in Wednesday’s mail