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No let-up for Pools following five wins
THERE’S no getting carried away, and no thinking the job is anywhere near done at Hartlepool United.
After 12 points from a possible 12 in League Two, Pools have put their early season mailase behind them and rediscovered how to enjoy their football again.
But, ahead of tomorrow’s game at Scunthorpe, Cooper insists he won’t let standards slip.
Cooper gave his players a light training session yesterday to try and keep them fresh in a run of five games in 14 days.
But the message he presented to his squad was a clear one: “A successful October doesn’t make us into anything.
“All we have done is caught up on the pack. Having won four on the bounce we are only mid-table. If this group of players want to go one better they have to reproduce what they have been doing and progress.
“Last weekend was an us against the world scenario, backs to the wall. The buzz around the ground at the end was a cracking atmosphere and, it’s been difficult for the fans for what they have been through.
“The fans are a massive part of what we are trying to achieve.’’ Pools have moved into midtable following Tuesday’s 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon.
But despite their recent maximum haul, they sit in 14th spot, albeit three points from seventh spot and six behind third-placed Exeter, who Pools whacked 3-0 at St James’ Park two weeks ago - who also won 4-0 at Scunthorpe last weekend.
“I think from day one, when we sat in the stand at the Vic when I got the job, we spoke about the Middlesbrough Spirit of 86 is important, the us against the world scenario,’’ reflected Cooper.
“And credit to the fans - when things were a bit sticky in the early weeks, I was still happy with the way things were going and the fans were giving us that feedback.
“You do get one or two negative comments. Rightly or wrongly I’m on social networking and I read up on things.
“People do give you their honest comments at times of how things are.
“I want to give them a team to be proud of.’’ Cooper had a conversation with the Middlesbrough hierarchy earlier this week. But it wasn’t about the vacant manager’s job, instead it was to arrange an extension of Matty Dolan’s loan.
It was up after Tuesday’s win, in which Dolan scored his first career goal, and he will line up at Glanford Park tomorrow.
“I hope it’s done now, we got things completed with Matty coming for another month,’’ said Cooper.
“I was pleased to have ten minutes with the chief executive there to sort that out.
They obviously have their own stuff going on at the moment, but it’s important for us.
“I’ve known Matthew and watched him play for a number of years. There was talk of him coming here last year and he has qualities – he is athletic, can technically handle a football and has a real desire to play football.
“Development football is great for learning to be a professional, but at some point you have to get out there. Middlesbrough have always been advocates of getting their players out there and get some genuine league miles under their belt.
“You want players to have to do that and Matthew went out on loan last year and wanted to do it again this year.
I wanted him here from the start.
“The longer he is here is of benefit to both of us.’’
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