Neale Cooper sees hope for future despite Sheff Utd defeat

Ryan Noble is blocked as he attempts to get his shot away. Picture by FRANK REID
Ryan Noble is blocked as he attempts to get his shot away. Picture by FRANK REID

NEALE Cooper has labelled the performance in the weekend defeat to Sheffield United as the “best yet” of his second reign – and believes it proves the potential which resides at Victoria Park.

The Pools boss was in upbeat mood today despite the cruel 1-0 reverse which saw the promotion-chasing Blades steal victory 11 minutes from time thanks to a controversial penalty award.

But Cooper – safe in the knowledge that his side are free of relegation matters in 11th – admits he is able to look beyond the frustration of Saturday’s unjust outcome, and has once again cast his eye to next season.

“That was probably the best we’ve played since I came back here, against a top, top side as well,” he told SportMail.

“It shows there is something to look forward to for next season and something to build on.

“We’ve got the backbone of a good team there and I think Saturday proved that.

“We really caused them problems and, in the end, it was a harsh defeat.

“There’s potential for a very good side here and we just need to get it right with who we bring in during the summer.”

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