Hartlepool United look ahead after tragic call-off

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NEALE Cooper and his Hartlepool United squad today turned their attention to this Saturday’s League One visit of Scunthorpe after the disappointment of their weekend postponement.

An accident on the M11 – in which three people died – meant that Pools’ team coach was stuck in traffic on its way to Leyton Orient on Saturday afternoon.

And, after the 3pm kick-off time passed with Pools still uncertain of when they would arrive at Brisbane Road, referee Brendan Malone took the decision to postpone the fixture.

Pools boss Cooper admits it was frustrating day, but the Scot was nonetheless understanding of the situation.

“Of course it was bitterly disappointing when we realised the game wasn’t going ahead,” he said.

“But then we heard how serious the accident was and it put things into perspective, For three people to die is just tragic.”

Cooper added: “It was a long day and it was frustrating, but there was nothing we could have done. We just weren’t moving and didn’t know when we would make it to the ground.

“We asked for a police escort, but every road was just gridlocked. We left the hotel in good time and we were all really looking forward to the game.

“But when we joined the road we realised something serious had happened.

“We were in contact with the Football League and there was talk of a 4.30pm kick-off.

“But, in the end, we were still stuck in London at 6pm.

“We didn’t get back until after 10pm and had spent nearly 10 hours on the coach. It was bonkers. The lads were all disappointed as well because I could sense a determination among them to make up for Tuesday’s defeat at Notts County.

“All we can do now is try to store that feeling and make amends when we play Scunthorpe this weekend. We’ve got a free week and we’ll use that to make sure we come out firing on Saturday.”

Cooper could also use the free week to focus his search for loan signings.

The 48-year-old is in the market for a winger and a striker and there could be movement before the visit of The Iron, who crashed 4-0 at home to table-topping Yeovil at the weekend..

“I still think we need a couple of players and this free week gives me a chance to focus on that,” he added.

“I think we need more quality in attack and that is where we’ll hopefully strengthen.”

Meanwhile, Pools striker Colin Nish made his debut for loan club Dundee on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes as they lost 1-0 at home to Ross County. The Dark Blues have not scored in their first four SPL games.