Hartlepool Utd ready to battle giants of Stevenage

Scott Flinders
Scott Flinders

HARTLEPOOL United must bring “the land of the giants” down to size if they are to keep their unbeaten home run going, writes ROY KELLY.

That is the task facing first-team chief Neale Cooper, coaches Michael Barron and Ritchie Humphreys, and then the players when the referee blows the whistle at 3pm tomorrow.

Pools play host to one of the most physically imposing sights in League One when they tackle Stevenage at Victoria Park.

Stevenage are not just flying high in the table – they are eighth and only two points off the play-offs with two games in hand – but their heads are almost in the sky.

And Cooper told SportMail that Pools must counter their aerial threat by giving them no opportunities in the home box.

“Stevenage are a big physical side,” explained Cooper.

“So too were Sheff Wed when we went there,

“It was like land of the giants – I didn’t know you could grow boys that big!

“I was told ‘wait until you see the Stevenage boys, they are even bigger’.

“Against teams like this you have to defend higher up the field

“You can’t give away daft free-kicks and you must try to avoid conceding corners, set-plays and throw-ins in the last third.

“Teams like Stevenage play to their strengths and look to cause problems in your box.

“We have to defend higher up the park and the lead comes from Scott Flinders.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail