Neale Cooper returns as Hartlepool Utd boss and vows to solve home form

Neale Cooper
Neale Cooper

NEALE Cooper has returned to Hartlepool United with one clear message from the club’s hierarchy – sort out the disastrous home form.

The 48-year-old was yesterday confirmed as successor to sacked first-team coach Mick Wadsworth.

Cooper first declared his interest in the position in an exclusive interview with SportMail on December 9 during which he said it would be an “honour” to return to Victoria Park.

He still ranks as the most successful manager in the club’s history having guided Pools to consecutive sixth-placed finishes in League One in 2004 and 2005 and his re-appointment is a popular choice among supporters.

The Scot will take his place in the dugout for the first time at Sheffield United on Saturday before what is expected to be an emotional homecoming when Pools entertain Scunthorpe United on New Year’s Day.

And it is that unwanted club-record run of eight straight home defeats which Cooper will be expected to end.

It was a stretch which cost Wadsworth his job and has seen crowd figures fall by 2,000.

The new man, though, is determined to bring the good times back to the Vic.

“We had a great support when I was here before and hopefully we can get that back,” said Cooper.

“It’s been a bit indifferent this season but we had a great spell earlier in the season.

“Winning home games is vital and maybe that will bring in more people – but it’s been a struggle of late.

“I’ll try to play a nice style of football that fans want to come and watch.

“I have always tried to do that.

“Getting results at home will make the players more relaxed.

“Even when I played there is pressure when you don’t get a result at home and it continues – it sticks at the back of your mind.”

Full story in Thursday’s Mail