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Back to back games at Victoria Park for Pools
FOR Colin Cooper this week presents a very different challenge to last. While the past ten days have seen Pools go away from home three times and convincingly win each game, they now have successive games at Victoria Park.
And, with four League Two defeats in front of their own fans already this season, Cooper and coach Craig Hignett are out to find a formula to get their Victoria Park form as good as their away performances. Wins at Mansfield, Sheffield United and Exeter were spectacular, as Pools scored eight times conceding just one.
“The 150-odd are the lucky ones seeing us win like we did at Exeter, now when we get back to the Vic we have to give them something to cheer about, those 3,500-4,000 who come and watch us,’’ admitted Cooper.
“We will be working to try and do that. We have back to back home games to come and we are expected to force the game. “We want to give them all something to smile about and turn around the home form and replicate the away form there.’’ Pools have three of their next four fixtures at home. They Plymouth on Saturday, AFC Wimbledon arrive next Tuesday, with a trip to Scunthorpe in between their home game with Dagenham.
Cooper’s first-team were back in training yesterday after having Monday off, while the reserves lost at 3-1 Doncaster. The manager has been pleased with the response of his players and admitted: “When you feel good about yourself you listen, take things on board and implement things.
“I feel there’s a confidence in the camp right now and we have to guard against any kind of complacency . Two away wins and then coming away on one of our longest away trips and winning in the manner we did very pleasing. “I think the away performances at this moment in time are very, very good and we have to try and replicate it at home.’’
Pools attacking quartet of Jack Compton, Andy Monkhouse, James Poole and Luke James have been a revelation of late. And Cooper knows there is room for improvement from everyone in the squad. “Jack has played on the right and scored again at Exeter after scoring at Mansfield – he can get better, he really can,’’ said the manager. “Sometimes he still makes poor decisions, but he is contributing to the team “We all have to work hard out of possession and he is. The front four, if you like, worked hard in and out of possession.
“Luke was taken off to applause. He gets himself a goal and I’m really pleased for the lad because he deserved it. “He has worked hard for the team without scoring, this time he deserved it. He is working really hard, he listens and we are working hard with him. “I think Luke can score a lot of goals and he could have twice as many as he has got.
“He can only get better. Every time you speak to him he has his eyes wide open and takes it in.’’
Brian Honour and Rob McKinnon, both part of the club’s 1991 promotion-winning side, will be back at Victoria Park next month. On Friday, November 1 they will take part in a talk in and question and answer session with supporters in the club’s Centenary Lounge. Tickets for the night, which starts at 7pm, are £10 and include pie and peas, and are on sale now from the club’s ticket office.
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