NEALE Cooper has changed tack in his bid to improve Hartlepool United – and a creative midfielder is now top of his wish list.
Pools venture to Huddersfield Town tonight with manager Cooper having grown frustrated at a lack of “guile” in his side.
And with loan signing Samuel Adjei having returned to Newcastle United for treatment on a hamstring injury picked up during his weekend debut, Cooper has today admitted that he hopes to add some craft to his team.
“We need some creativity in the middle of the park,” he declared. “It’s okay grafting and battling but it’s always a scrap for us.
“We need someone who can open up teams and keep possession.The ball is like a hot potato at times yet we work a lot on possession and one-touch, two-touch football in training.
“But then simple little passes are slack. The final ball as well, we take too many touches.
“We just need a bit better guile and confidence about us. We need someone who can pull the strings from the middle of the park.”
Only during the final stages of January’s 4-0 win over Carlisle United did Cooper feel certain the points were in the bag.
And he went on: “We just need better quality at times. We always seem to be hanging on to things. We’ve got to move the ball quicker.
“It’s frustrating because we’re never comfortable in a game. We give teams chances through individual errors.”
Cooper, though, would surely settle for another battling draw at the Galpharm Stadium this evening.
“It’s as tough as they come, away to Huddersfield,” he said.
“We’re going into it on the back of a couple of good results, though, and again I think we’ve got to concentrate on our own game. When we do that and make it about we’re at our best.”
Cooper will be without Gary Liddle (leg) while Luke James (back) remains a doubt.
James Poole should start if he reports no ill effects from his comeback match at the weekend.