Neale Cooper demands players report to Maiden Castle just hours after Preston humiliation

Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper

NEALE Cooper today demanded his players report to Maiden Castle at 9am for a DVD inquest into last night’s 5-0 humiliation at Preston North End.

The Pools squad were at their Durham base this morning sifting through yet another away-day embarrassment.

They would have seen Joel Byrom open the scoring after an error by Simon Walton before Stuart Beavon was afforded too much time and space to double the lead before the break.

Jack King headed a third before Scott Laird helped himself to a late double with minimum resistance from the visitors.

Cooper could not bring himself to address his players after the game at Deepdale, instead leaving that to an equally furious Micky Barron.

And the Scot said: “They’ll be in at nine o’clock to watch the game, usually they are off.

“I don’t care if they live in Leeds, Preston or wherever – everyone will be in to sit and watch that DVD.

“They need to deserve days off – they don’t deserve days off after that, it was weak.

“I’m so angry because I’m embarrassed – I’ve never had a team just give up and collapse like that.

“There’s not enough leaders.

“One thing I have always had is a team that will go down fighting - they just rolled over.”

He continued: “I had to stay out the changing room because I didn’t want to go in there and have a heart attack – I don’t think some of them would care anyway.

“I love working with Micky Barron, he’s been excellent, like Ritchie Humphreys.

“But Micky was close to tears.

“I can’t be bothered speaking to them and that’s not like me.

“But Micky was furious and he had his say with them.”

And, of the game, which had started brightly with several chances carved out, Cooper reflected: “I’m shocked.

“I just don’t know what I’m going to get at times.

“I could not have given them more praise after Bournemouth.

“And we started OK, but that counts for nothing now.

“We let them get their tails up - Simon gets caught on it for the first after we’d said ‘don’t take any chances’.

“They then get a second where we’re too far off him.

“The back four are too soft – not good enough.

“Then at the end for the fifth - how easy was that? Getting by Neil Austin and then Sam Collins.

“I’m raging, but I didn’t go in the dressing room like that because it’s not good for you.

“I just told them ‘I’ll see you all in the morning’.”