Neale Cooper’s need for speed

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NEALE Cooper hopes to delve into the January transfer market having been disappointed following his early assessment of the Hartlepool United playing staff, writes Craig Hope.

The new boss has made no secret of his shock at the lack of pace throughout the squad and a lack of options in certain areas of the pitch.

He has now witnessed back-to-back defeats since returning to Victoria Park last week and is well aware of the direction in which Pools – now in 17th – are headed in League One.

Cooper has, though, been impressed by the attitude on the training field of his new charges, but admits the personnel could do with strengthening over the coming weeks.

Loan deals will be the only avenue available to the Scot and he will speak to chairman Ken Hodcroft this week about exploring that possibility.

“What I’ve noticed in two games is that, in general, there’s a lack of pace,”Cooper, right, said.

“If you look at our strikers – other than James Poole, who I hear has pace – then they’re not fast. They want balls in to feet.

“There’s no one if you go around the whole team who you would say is lightning quick.

“The strikers such as Adam Boyd, James Brown and Adam Monkhouse aren’t like that. That’s not a criticism, that’s just the type of player they are. But there aren’t many options in that area of the park.

“If there’s something that we can do in January then we’ll see.”

In the meantime, Cooper will work with his men in a bid to sharpen their play ahead of Saturday’s visit of Rochdale.

And the 48-year-old is fully expecting a reaction following Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United.

“There’s got to be a reaction because I didn’t enjoy Monday and I’m sure the players didn’t,” he said.

H Cooper is hopeful he will have James Poole available for the first time this weekend – but he will be without skipper Sam Collins.

Cooper said: “I’m not too sure about James just yet, but I hope he’s okay because I’ve heard a lot of good things about him.

“He’s got pace, can score a goal and can play in a couple of positions and if he’s fit it will be a big help.”

Pools will also be without defender Stephen Wright (Achilles).