It will be evolution at Hartlepool United not revolution says Colin Cooper

TRICKERY: Jonathan Franks in action against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID
TRICKERY: Jonathan Franks in action against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper insists it will be “evolution not revolution” at Hartlepool United this summer as he continues his preparations for next season.

Pools were today expected to announce the retained list of players with Cooper insisting there will be changes to personnel.

But while some experienced first-team players are expected to be leaving, Cooper said fans shouldn’t expect wholesale changes.

The 47-year-old is determined to be a success and says he will be trying his “damndest” in 2014-15 and has called on the players to be just as serious.

Pools ended the season 19th in League Two, finishing with a 2-0 defeat to Exeter City at Victoria Park after a poor performance, lacking any real energy or enthusiasm.

In summing up the season, Cooper said there had been “highs and lows”, concluding that it had not been good enough but hoped it would be a bottoming out for the club and that they can now move forward.

Cooper said: “There have been highs and lows but overall it has not been good enough.

“This season has to be seen as a bottoming out – that is what it has to be.

“I accept I walked into this club in the summer with my eyes open, I accept I walked in with a list of players that had been put in place with very little room for manoeuvre with the financial fair play.

“I don’t consider it revolution, I consider it evolution and some things will change this summer and the longer I am here things will change in the longer term.”

On Saturday, he said he had told the Pools players that this summer would be the “biggest” of their professional careers.

He insists he won’t stand for players not being “serious” about being a professional footballer as he looks to build a successful Pools team.

The former Boro, Millwall and Nottingham Forest told SportMail: “Unfortunately for them, I know what it takes to play at the highest level.

“If they want to play at being a professional footballer they can’t be here because I am not prepared to be playing at being a professional manager.

“Over the course of the weeks and months, certain people have tried to make their feelings clear to me and I am going to be doing my damndest to be successful next year.

“If I’m not, I won’t be here, but the one thing I can’t allow is for the players to play at being a pro.

“Professional football is serious and if you are not serious about it then you shouldn’t be in it.”

It is understood the much anticipated retained list will see forward Jonathan Franks offered a year extension, while veteran Sam Collins is set to sign a new contract after an impressive run of form since returning to the team following the sale of Jack Baldwin to Peterborough.

Experienced forward Andy Monkhouse, who has been at the club since 2006, is expected to be among the players leaving Victoria Park this summer.