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Pools 'fed up and a bit flat' admits Cooper
NEALE Cooper is seeking a much-needed confidence boost tonight for his flat Hartlepool United players.
With only one win to their name this season and, on the back of three successive League One defeats, Pools meet Bradford City at Victoria Park in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Self-belief is low within the dressing room and, on the back of Saturday's defeat to Crewe and last Tuesday's home reverse to Sheffield United, Cooper is desperately seeking an upturn in fortunes.
Pools gave improved performances in both games, but ended up pointless and he admitted: "We were all devastated in the changing room on Saturday.
"When your luck is down it has a habit of kicking you in the teeth - that's the way it is at the moment.
"Saying that, the two performances have been very good - I would rather be bad and win though.
"We just have to build on this again. We want to do well in every competition and I will put out the strongest team I can against Bradford.
"A win would give us some confidence back.
"But if they keep creating chances like that it's a matter of time before we bang a few goals past someone.''
Andy Monkhouse is facing a spell on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage sustained in the early minutes at Crewe, while Steve Howard and Paul Murray are likely to be rested.
"Stevie is struggling for Tuesday with his knee, back and shin,'' said Cooper. "Muzza got a couple of knocks. We'll put out as strong a team as we can.''
He added: "Crewe are a clever footballing team. You will never be in total control of a game and they were always going to come back into it.
"But that game should have been finished. We were careless.
"Sweens still has to do better on the ball. He's upset because he doesn't think he's done well.
"You can't take him out because who do you replace him with?
"You can't replace his energy levels and his runs.
"He slipped trying to get on the end of one and apparently it's the boots - if I slipped because of my boots at Aberdeen as a player I'd be taken off!
"We need confidence, the boys are fed up and a bit flat.''