Cooper ponders changes for Hartlepool’s Newport test

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper
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COLIN Cooper is considering tinkering with his Hartlepool United line-up for tonight’s Sky Bet League Two game at Newport County after a gruelling spell of three matches inside six days.

Cooper said this week, with an FA Cup win over Notts County and a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy loss to Rotherham, has been a “real stretch” energy wise.

He admits there is likely to be one or two changes tonight, but the Pools gaffer won’t be underestimating the league new boys – Newport have won five times and lost just once at home all season.

Pools’ starting line-up has been unchanged for the last two matches, and Cooper has praised the fitness levels of his players.

Matty Dolan was substituted in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Rotherham with a tight groin as a precaution, but the on-loan Middlesbrough man is expected to feature at Newport.

Cooper said: “He got a kick in the first half of Tuesday, which was another one of the decisions that the referee decided to let go.

“Matty was a bit sore, but he is OK.

“He didn’t want to come off but was limping and it was a good opportunity to get Antony Sweeney and Bradley Walker on the pitch, who are both chomping at the bit.

“Other than that, touch wood, let’s see what happens and see whether we need to re-adjust.

“The lads who were on the bench on Tuesday and those that didn’t make the bench will all figure tonight.

“We will have a look this morning to see how everybody looks and pick a team that has the best chance to get us a result at Newport.

“The lads that played last Saturday and then went again on Tuesday night were outstanding – the energy levels were good and we looked fit and strong.

“As I keep saying, other than illness or injury, it is a tough one, but I think three games in six days is a real stretch energy wise, so we might have to think about one or two changes.”