Hartlepool Utd boss wants to know who’s on the bus for next season

Marlon Harewood celebrates his goal against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Marlon Harewood celebrates his goal against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper is planning a promotion push in 2014-15 – but he wants to know NOW, who is joining him on the journey.

Hartlepool United have flirted – briefly – with the top seven in League Two in a debut season which has produced promise but mo end-product.

Pools are destined for a mid-table finish and Cooper admitted to SportMail that how well the players approach the final six games of the programme will determine if that is towards eigth or as low as 18th.

Cooper wants the right attitude over the last six matches and wants winners. He wants everything from his players.

“We’ve had close on 10 months and you hope the players have been doing that week-in week-out,” he said.

“The next four weeks will tell me who desperately want to be here next season, who desperately wants to play for me, who desperately wants to get some success at Pools.

“In order to make next season better, I need a group of players who have an unwavering will to want to succeed.

“Finishing just outside the play-offs, or wherever we end up, won’t be good enough next season.

“We have shown we can compete but competing isn’t going to be good enough next season.

“Everyone has an opportunity to say ‘I’m with you’.

“I think [former Middlesbrough assistant manager and sports psychologist] Bill Beswick’s old phrase was ‘I’m on the bus and I want to come on the journey with you’.

“That’s where we are now, we are planing the journey for the end of this season and then getting on with the next one.

“I’d like to think that people have been giving everything so far but if people want to show me something extra in this last month then bring it on, because it will only bring us results.

“But what I would say is that the 10 months will be where the majority of decisions will be made from.

“I’ve proved to myself that I can do this job.

“But I want to prove to people that with the right people alongside me and behind me, then my job next season will be to go one better.”