Hartlepool United’s Cooper still looking for answer to goal drought

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COLIN Cooper will this week consider whether or not the answer to Hartlepool United’s goalscoring famine lies within the football club, writes CRAIG HOPE.

If not, then the Pools boss will be looking for the green light from the club’s hierarchy to bring a new striker to Victoria Park.

Cooper insists he will not make a signing simply for the sake of it and, on the evidence of those he has signed so far this summer, his judgement appears sound.

Pools are now without a goal in six hours in League Two following Saturday’s 1-0 home reverse to Fleetwoo Town.

Cooper takes some comfort from what was a much-improved performance, but he nonetheless concedes that the absence of goals is a major concern.

“The frustration is building and we need to turn it around,” said the 46-year-old, who will continue to run the rule over Spennymoor Town striker Michael Rae this week.

“It’s my job to find the answer why we’re not scoring. If we feel it’s a personnel issue then, with what we have available, it’s my job to look at that.

“If there is a player we feel is genuinely better than what we have got, then great. But just accumulating players for the sake of it is just wrong.”

Pools are now second from bottom in the division after four matches with a mammoth trek to Torquay United next up on Saturday.

They had their chamnces on Saturday, with Steve Howard having a header hacked from the goal-line and Matty Dolan hitting a venomous drive into the chest of goalkeeper Scott Davies.

But the only goal went to Fleetwood. Winger Antoni Sarcevic broke unopposed and pinged a shot on target, keeper Scott Flinders failed to gather at the first attempt and Jeff Hughes followed up to bundle home.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walker, Walton (James 87), Dolan, Compton (Rodney 75), Poole (Monkhouse 61), Howard. Subs Not Used: Collins, Franks, Rafferty, Holden.Booked: Baldwin, Walton, Monkhouse.

Fleetwood Town: Davies, Hogan, Roberts, Pond, Jordan, Brown (Ryan Crowther 78), Murdoch, Hughes, Evans (Howell 86), Sarcevic, Ball (Matt 82). Subs Not Used: Parkin, McLaughlin, Blair, Lucas. Booked: Hughes. Goals: Hughes 16.

Att: 3,297 Ref: Steven Rushton