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Two wins in two games on the road for Pools lifts spirits
THERE’S a good feeling around Hartlepool United right now; and the longer it lasts, the better their season will be.
Colin Cooper has engineered back to back away wins in the last week, with the League Two win at Mansfield followed up by Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Sheffield United.
And, ahead of their trip to Exeter this weekend, Cooper is confident his players can maintain their standards.
“I think things come together when you are feeling good about yourself and you feel good about yourself when results are going well,’’ he reflected. “Getting a couple of positive results like we have done makes you feel good.
“I’ve said to them that after the Bradford game we let ourselves down a little bit in losing to Wycombe.
“After scoring four on Saturday, I asked the players that if this was one where we would go out there and just see what happens – or would we go and build on Mansfield? “You can only compete if you do the ugly things – be brave, work hard, have belief. That gives you confidence to compete.
“We can do that and create chances against most teams. These players will create chances against any team we play.’’
He added: “Scott Flinders made a good point after the game – Mansfield hit the bar after four minutes, Sheffield United did it after two and we went on to win the games. Maybe luck is turning our way.
“For half an hour against Oxford it wasn’t us, but the rest of the game there was nothing in it.
“We have had a good run of results that one aside. We got a reaction last weekend and backed that up at Sheffield. “The coupons all have us down to get thrashed at Exeter – they did at Sheffield and they did at Mansfield so let’s go there and make it three.’’ Cooper was without Sam Collins (knee) on Tuesday, while Jack Baldwin (suspension) and Matty Dolan (thigh) will all be back in contention for the weekend. Bradley Walker returned to midfield and impressed, while Darren Holden was reinstalled and was confident at left back.
“I’m excited and all I’ve said is how desperate do you want to be in the team and be part of something special. The challenge is there,’’ added Cooper.
“Bradley and Darren had both been out of the team for a while and both came back in and were a credit.
“We all go to Exeter and whatever team we select I’d like to think everyone will see it and appreciate the need for their mate to do well. “I’ve said that there is a certain kind of togetherness that allows players to do something in football and I feel it’s there now.
“It’s positive to keep a clean sheet, away from home it gives you a chance to catch the opposition on the counter attack.’’ Pools’ winner on Tuesday came from James Poole – his second goal of the week and he has flourished in a central role.
“Our goal was a smashing finish from James Poole, to see it end up it net… he’s a talented boy,’’ added Cooper. “It comes from within. He is feeling good about himself and he’s getting in good positions and I like in that I’m seeing him in clever positions and then getting on the front foot to try and attack the opposition.
“Then you’ve got players coming in and around off him. It worked in the last two games.’’
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