COLIN Cooper is demanding Hartlepool United bring a swift and conclusive end to their autumn blip against Northampton Town tomorrow.
Two defeats in a row hardly constitutes a crisis – especially given that one of the losses came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, to League One side Rotherham.
However, Cooper does not want to see two grow to three or witness a backward step from his players who, until Newport last Friday, had produced some wonderful football.
“The idea of losing three games on the bounce should be something we don’t want to do,” said the Pools boss, who welcomes back Brad Walker back into the squad following his England U18 training camp this week .
“Any good team generally doesn’t lose twice on the spin.
“We should not have lost against Rotherham, we all realise that, then we’ve gone and lost at Newport.
“It’s important we hit the ground running tomorrow and make sure Northampton don’t get the chance to make it three.
“We were all disappointed at the end of last week.
“The most important thing after the Newport game was to get people rested up, get back on the training ground and re-emphasise the positives about the things that had been getting us results and getting back to doing what we are good at.”
On paper, tomorrow’s match presents the ideal oportunity to do that.
Northampton may have won their last two games – a dramatic 1-0 win over previous leaders Fleetwood at Sixfields last Saturday and a 2-1 victory at non-league Bishop’s Stortford the previous Saturday.
But the Cobblers away form in League Two is dire – just one win and four goals to their credit and seven defeats.
Cooper though insists Town must not be take lightly.
“I’m sure Aidy will have been very happy about the result last week against Fleetwood,” Cooper said.
“To get a winning goal so late on when you’ve probably had to battle is very pleasing.
“No doubt they’ll be feeling good about themselves.
“As much as the bottom of the table is not a nice place to be, it’s not that important at this moment in time.
“Aidy will have them organised and they will be working hard.
“The one thing they won’t be doing is just rolling over for us, we’re going to gave to earn anything we get.”
Cooper insists the League Two table is still taking shape and points out that Pools are almost as close to the relegation zone as they are the top.
But he wants to see Pools looking up rather than down.
“I don’t think Aidy will be too bothered about their position,” he said.
“They are bottom and we’re in the middle but if you look at the table there is only around 15 points separating the whole lot.
“It’s nothing really.
“I’m sure he’ll want Northampton to get out of that position as soon as possible and where they to get a good result here it will put them in the right direction.
“So it’s something we have to try to avoid.
“We want to try to push on ourselves.”