Cooper urges Pools to avoid bottoming out again

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper
Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper
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HARTLEPOOL United cannot afford an action replay of last week’s slip-up at Northampton Town when they play host to Torquay United tomorrow.

Pools made the Cobblers look anything other than the Football League’s basement club when they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Sixfields.

Colin Cooper’s side will face the bottom team for the second Saturday in a row after the Gulls dropped to 24th place on Tuesday night.

Northampton moved off the foot of the table when they beat Southend United (doing Pools a favour in the process) in midweek.

Torquay got a battling 1-1 draw with Burton Albion on the same evening and while they are now seven points from safety, Cooper expects the Gulls to still be “fighting” tomorrow

Cooper insists his side must match that effort but look to re-gain the form and confidence they showed in the ptrevious four games against teams in the

“I understand there is not much of a gap, points-wise, between where we are down to fourth/fifth bottom,” he said.

“But teams end up in the bottom reaches of the table for a reason.

“Torquay though will give us a tough game and we’re going to have to be ready.

“We have to make sure all the things we did not do brilliantly last Saturday, like defending our goal, we address.

“We need to try to get back to being hard to beat while finding some creativity in the final third in order to get a really positive result and bounce back very quickly from Northampton.

“The one thing I know Torquay will do is scrap for everything.

“If you give them something to hang on to they’ll fight harder, that’s what happened at Northampton.

“We gave them a goal before half-time and the goal in their first attack in the second half should never have happened.

“The two goals were defendable and we didn’t get going in the final third.

“The one thing we must do is stay in the game.

“If you get your noses in front against a team from the bottom parts of the league, their confidence tends to ebb away.

“But if you give them something to hang on to, their confidence grows and the energy increases.

“That’s what Northampton did and they got the result they thoroughly deserved.

“We’ve got to match that fight, stay in the game and try to get our noses in front.”

Torquay showed their fight against promotion-chasing Burton at Plainmoor by coming from a goal down to draw 1-1.

Elliot Benyon got on the end of a cross from skipper Ben Harding with his diving header earning the much-changed side a point.