COLIN Cooper has banned all “negative” talk at Hartlepool United and says the side are up for tomorrow’s clash with Chesterfield.
On paper, the visit of the high-flying Spireites to Victoria Park looks a daunting prospect, especially given that Pools have lost four in a row in League Two.
Cooper made liberal use of the P-word in his press conference ahead of the showdown with the third-placed side – positive.
The Pools boss wants his team on the front foot and not frightened on the back foot.
“I’m really looking forward to the game,” said Cooper.
“I’d like to see a really good crowd at the Vic and a really good atmosphere.
“And on the back of that, see a really good game of football with both teams trying to play in the right manner and go toe to toe to see who the best team.
“I would like everyone to be on-side – people are trying to turn it into a negative fest, it won’t happen with me. We are fine, we are OK.
“It’s not the most testing period for me – we went eight games without a win at the start of the season.
“Where we are in the table is where we are and I don’t look at anything from a negative point of view.
“I think people tend to want to turn things negative and it won’t happen.
“Everyone wants to win and get past a certain place to feel more relaxed.
“But ask anyone from Accrington down to Torquay where they would like to be now and they would like to be where we are.
“We have a smashing game to come, I’d like everyone to come and see a great spectacle and good advert for League Two.
“If it doesn’t go how we want it to, there are still four games to go.
“We are more than capable of winning two or three games. But if we start worrying about negative things, negative things were happen.
“Yes, I was disappointed at Portsmouth, but I’ve not been disappointed that often.
“I like to look at things positively.
“We have five games, we need positive results and the quicker we get them great - we are more than good enough.
“If we get positive results in two or three then we will finish in the top 10. My challenge is to finish top half.
“We have shown we probably aren’t just good enough to be in the top echelons – we’ve not scored enough goals and not kept enough clean sheets.
“But we have shown more than enough to make sure we aren’t in the bottom half.
“All we have to do is make sure we get a couple of positive results and calm everyone down.
“I left the game last week angry because we didn’t show what we can do.
“Now we have a challenge against a team seeking promotion - can we give them a good game and get a good result?”
Cooper hinted that the pressure is more on Chesterfield than Pools.
Paul Cook’s team are just four points off top spot with five games to go, but are only three points above Fleetwood in fourth.
Cooper said: “Paul got a lot of money to spend in the summer and there are consequences of that.
“He’s expected to get promoted and it’s a difficult job for him.
“And having been in third position and higher all the season, they want to get over the line and that won’t be easy for them.
“They won’t be looking forward to coming here to play us.
“When we drew 0-0 at Chesterfield on Boxing Day, everyone there said that we were the best team that had played at their ground.
“I like Paul and the way he’s trying to do it.
“If they get up, good luck to them but I’m hoping we won’t be nudging them over the line tomorrow.”