Cooper urges Pools to build on morale-boosting first win

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper.
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper.
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HARTLEPOOL United need to back up their first win of the season by getting something from unbeaten Cheltenham Town.

That’s the view of Pools manager Colin Cooper, whose side take on third-placed Town at Whaddon Road in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow afternoon.

Goals from Charlie Wyke and Marlon Harewood and a fine penalty save from Scott Flinders helped United to a 2-1 win away at the Dons last weekend.

Next up for 19th-placed Pools is another long trip south tomorrow.

Cooper said his side will face a “tough test” but he is optimistic they will be able to build on the result last week.

“Once you get off and running you want to try and back it up with something,” said Cooper.

“Obviously we have another long journey, very similar to last week, so lets hope travelling home on Saturday we have the same kind of feeling.

“I wasn’t happy about losing [the opening games] but I did stress that we didn’t feel we were far away.

“We got the rub of the green against Wimbledon, at times when we needed it, and scored goals at good times.

“All you can say is you have to try and repeat that and make sure it isn’t a one-off and we are not licking our wounds on Saturday.

“We want to come home feeling good about ourselves leading into the week after.”

Mark Yates’ Cheltenham side have won three and drawn one of their opening four league matches, including coming from 2-0 down to Tranmere at half-time last Saturday to win 3-2.

Cooper said: “You talk about scoring goals at important times and last Saturday they were 2-0 down at half-time.

“Mark made a couple of changes and they came off and they end up winning the game 3-2 at Tranmere.

“We all need a slice of luck and for things to happen at the right time for us and they will be feeling very good about themselves and will want to back that up with something at home.

“It is our job to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Mark has a system that works for them, some good players, some pace and some experience.

“There is a good blend at Cheltenham and we have to go down there and make sure we are very organised and be difficult to beat.

“We then need to see if we have got enough to cause them some problems and hopefully we have.”

Lewis Hawkins is set to miss the trip for Pools with an ankle injury sustained in a training match but Stuart Parnaby is expected to be in the squad after returning from a hamstring injury.

For Cheltenham, new signing Jordan Wynter is expected to continue in midfield after scoring the winner on his debut last week after joining on loan from Bristol City.

Town boss Mark Yates said: “It’s early days but Hartlepool play decent football and they have a good mix if experience and youth.

“We must make sure we don’t take them lightly because it’s important we treat each game the same and the players have done that so far.

“It has played a big part in us getting as many points as we have done in the last few games.

“We’ll have to deal with Marlon Harewood and I see that the lad Luke James is back in training but Charlie Wyke too because he scored on his debut.

“They have players that can hurt you so it’ll be tough game like they all are but as long as we approach it properly then we give ourselves a chance,” added Yates who was talking to his club’s website.

Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Bates, Austin, Miller, Walker, Franks, Brobbel, Harewood, Wyke.

Subs (from): Dixon, Holden, Richards, Compton, Parnaby, Woods, Rowbotham, Smith, James.