Cooper set to ring the changes at Hartlepool United

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NEALE Cooper is already considering changes to what he had thought was his “strongest” XI, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The Hartlepool United boss was raging in the aftermath of Saturday’s 5-0 Capital One Cup hammering at Crewe.

Cooper started with the team which he had named as his preferred line-up some three weeks earlier.

But it now looks certain that the Scot will make changes for this Saturday’s League One opener at home to Swindon.

“There are options if I want to change things and I’ll look at that,” Cooper said today as the inquest continued into the Crewe collapse.

“We couldn’t have prepared any better for Saturday, but then they went out and played like that – shocking.

“I can’t accept that.”

James Poole looks to have the best chance of winning a starting berth, having replaced Luke James at the break at Crewe.

“Poolie did OK when he came on,” added Cooper. “Poolie knows it’s a big season for him.

“He’s worked hard during pre-season and his chance will come.”

Cooper will also consider recalling Paul Murray in a bid to further protect a back four which was brutally exposed against the Railwaymen.