Emotional Cooper thanks Hartlepool United fans

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NEALE Cooper has sent a message to the Hartlepool United fans thanking them for their “special” support – but insists his decision to walk away from Pools was the right one, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The Scot has spoken for the first time since his resignation from Victoria Park last Wednesday.

In a heartfelt interview, Cooper spoke of his pride at returning to the club last year, but expressed his devastation as it became increasingly evident his tenure could not continue.

And the 48-year-old hopes that, in ending his second spell as manager, he has preserved his relationship with the people of the town.

“It couldn’t go on,” Cooper said.

“I knew in my heart that it was the right decision.

“I didn’t want to go on with a situation which wasn’t going to improve – that would not have been fair on the club or the supporters.

“Then, towards the back end of last week, I started getting so many lovely messages from fans and you start to think ‘have I done the right thing?’.

“But it was – I’d tried everything to improve things on the pitch but it wasn’t happening.

“It was killing me and I knew in myself I’d lost my spark, it had been drained from me.

“I couldn’t just sit there taking my wage and let things continue, I think too much of the club and the people of the town to do that.

“The support they’ve given me over the years has been so special, it honestly has, it means the world to me.

“I didn’t want to ruin that, and I hope I haven’t.

“I’ve been back in the town this week and the response from fans has been quite emotional for me at times.

“And that has helped me so much because I feel like already I’ve got some of that bounce back in me.

“This is a good town with good people, that will never change.”