Hartlepool United’s Cooper in no rush for changes

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COLIN Cooper says he won’t be making changes to his Hartlepool United team for tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game against Rotherham United just for the sake of it.

The 46-year-old believes those players not in the team face a difficult job getting into the starting line-up after a fine run of form has seen Pools win seven out of eight matches in all competitions.

Tonight, League Two Pools take on League One Rotherham United at Victoria Park (7pm) in the northern area quarter-final of the JPT.

Cooper has a fully fit first-team squad to choose from and he said he will only make changes if he thinks players are looking tired.

Cooper: “We will assess who is fit and free to play. If that is everyone, then I think the players that are not in the team have a difficult job to get in.

“If they show me the levels of application, quality and team ethic that I am asking for, then we have to give them the opportunity to play in the team.

“If I think they look fatigued, then we will freshen things up if we feel we need to.”

After tonight’s match, Pools travel to Newport County on Friday night for a League Two fixture.

Cooper is able to call on on-loan Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess, who has served his one-game ban for collecting five yellow cards.

Millers manager Steve Evans will be without Iceland international Kari Arnason, who misses out through suspension while captain Craig Morgan is available for selection after suspension.

The rules of the competition state clubs must select a minimum of six of the 11 players who played in the game previous to the tie or in the game immediately afterwards – or six of the top 11 appearance-makers for the season so far.