COLIN Cooper is calling on his Hartlepool United side to take the confidence from gaining a point against Chesterfield into their next Sky Bet League Two match against Morecambe tomorrow.
Games are coming thick and fast for Pools at the moment during the busy festive period and Cooper’s men play the Shrimps in their third league match in just eight days.
Pools are unbeaten in four going into the game but all four have ended in draws and the gaffer is looking for his side to get ahead in the match and secure all three points.
There will have to be changes though to the starting 11, with the injured Jack Compton, who came off against the Spireites with a pulled calf, and the suspended Andy Monkhouse who saw red at the Proact Stadium, to miss out.
Trimdon-born Cooper said at times against Chesterfield that his Pools side played some of the “most pleasing football” he has seen for a little spell now.
And the 46-year-old is calling on his players to take that performance into the match against Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Sunday (KO 3pm).
Morecambe are currently ninth, just two points outside the play-off positions, while Pools are back in 14th spot.
Cooper said: “I really hope the lads do take a lot of confidence out of the Chesterfield game because at times we were very good.
“We want to try and eradicate mistakes, you can’t always do that, but we will keep
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looking to find answers.
“But on the ball I think they tried to do everything that we asked of them against Chesterfield, to get it down and play it through.
“Without any disrespect to anybody I thought the two central midfield players were exceptional and the two centre backs, on the whole, were good.
“But everybody in the team made a contribution, and that is what you have to do.
“We have to find a way to get our noses in front because if we do, then we are up and running again.
“It is just finding the answer to get our noses in front again and when we do that I think we will fly again.”
Another large away following is expected to travel to the west coast for the match and Cooper described the Pools support against Chesterfield as “unbelievable”.
The former Middlesbrough and England defender said: “From day one we have said whether there is 10 people that come from one end of the country to the other, or the hundreds that turned up at Chesterfield, every single one of them we appreciate.
“The least you can do is show your appreciation and I thought they were very vocal and supportive of the team, even when we went 1-0 down.
“They really helped with our second half surge and the players took a lot of encouragement and belief from that and stepped up.
“We could have won the game, perhaps that is being a bit greedy, but the fans were exceptional.”
Pools have been relatively fortunate with injuries so far this season but Chesterfield’s point came at a price with Compton hobbling off with a pulled calf muscle and on-loan Middlesbrough duo Matty Dolan and Christian Burgess suffering ankle knocks.
Both Dolan and Burgess are expected to feature against Morecambe though, as is right-back Michael Duckworth, who took a hefty knock to the head from goalkeeper Scott Flinders but was okay to carry on against the Spireites.
Cooper added: “Matty got his foot caught under the guy’s leg, as did Christian with his ankle, towards the end of the second half.
“It is a case of rest and recover and reassess Saturday morning to get people on the pitch for Morecambe.”
Pools (Probable): Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walton, Dolan, Walker, Franks, Poole, James.
Subs from: Rafferty, Collins, Holden, Sweeney, Rodney, Rowbotham, Rutherford, Boagey.
Morecambe [4-3-3] (Probable): Roche; Parrish, McCready, Hughes, Threlfall; Drummond, Kenyon, Fleming; Amond, Redshaw, Ellison.