Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Boss Cooper Is Seeing Faith Rewarded

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Boss Cooper Is Seeing Faith Rewarded

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Chief Sports Writer mark.douglas@ncjmedia.co.uk

COLIN Cooper believes his Hartlepool United team are on the verge of turning a corner after seeing things coming together in the midweek mauling of Bradford City.

Pool ended their barren streak in style on Tuesday with five unanswered goals against a team from a tier above, and now Cooper hopes the confidence gained from that game will be taken into today's clash with Wycombe.

To neutral observers the midweek win might have come out of the blue but Cooper insists he has seen positive signs from his team since the start of the season. They are yet to record a league win or score a goal since demotion to League Two, but the Pool manager insists that only tells half a story.

"I have belief in the whole squad and the big message from me to the players in the last few weeks has been to keep believing in what we are doing because at some point it will change in our favour," he said.

"It was very nice to win in the manner we won on Tuesday, but I have been happy with the grit and determination that we have shown so far this season. We have kept clean sheets and we have had to dig in to do that, which is the cornerstone of any successful team.

"As an ex-defender I was delighted with the fact that we kept a clean sheet on Tuesday because we had to dig in again in those early stages. Then we played some excellent stuff and in that second half in particular we looked very good going forward.

"I have said all along that the performances have been fine but it has just been the missed opportunities that has stopped us. When you do put them away everyone's spirits are a bit higher and everyone feels a bit better about themselves so I want us to take that confidence into the next game."

Cooper's message about belief is particularly relevant to midweek scorers Jack Compton and Nialle Rodney, both picked up in the summer by a boss who managed them during his short stint in charge of the Bantams.

Both were free agents but the Pool boss believed they could make a difference - and saw Compton deliver a display against his former club that backed up his faith. …

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