A DISAPPOINTED Colin Cooper wanted to see his side “get into the faces” of the Middlesbrough players more following last night’s 2-0 friendly defeat.
Second-half goals from substitutes Adam Reach and Bradley Fewster secured the win for Aitor Karanka’s side at Victoria Park, and a deserved win at that, with the Teessiders dominating the chances and possession.
Cooper said: “Against Sunderland was tough and I always thought this game would be tougher.
“Middlesbrough were good and the addition of Kike has given them a bit of spark, movement and technique, and he looks like he has a goal or two in him.
“I take nothing away from the game though, really, because I knew both games were going to be hard.
“But the disappointing thing, was I didn’t think my team showed enough verve to get about Middlesbrough and we were too passive.
“If we are going to do anything we have to get into people’s faces more.
“We didn’t look under balanced, the shape of the team wasn’t bad and we defended our 18-yard box very well but we have a lot more to offer.
“I’d just like us to see give a bit more and that will start at Bradford City on Saturday.”
At times, Pools were playing with Luke James wide left and Jack Compton wide right, but Cooper stressed afterwards that was never the plan.
He added: “When we did nick the ball we didn’t do enough with it, didn’t link up enough with Marlon (Harewood), who probably didn’t do quite enough to hold the ball up.
“All in all, I thought the two centre backs and the goalkeeper were fine.
“But the two goals came from bog standard crosses and there will be bundles of those in League Two.
“We did a session on defending and defending crosses on Tuesday so to concede two goals from crosses, for me as a former defender, was not very pretty to watch.”
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders, Duckworth, Austin, Bates, Holden, Greening, Parnaby (Rowbotham 73), Walker, James, Harewood, Compton (Franks 61). Subs: Rafferty, Collins, Smith, Richards, Jones.
MIDDLESBROUGH: Konstantopolous, Bennett, Husband, Burgess, Hines, Whitehead (Morris 74), Leadbitter, Adomah (Reach 46), Kike (Fewster 68), Williams, Halliday (Atkinson 72). Subs: Gibson, Tomlin, Mejias. Goals: Reach 51, Fewster 71