HARTLEPOOL United travel to one of League One’s relegation-threatened sides tomorrow – but manager Neale Cooper insists there’ll be no repeat humiliation.
It was just a fortnight ago that the Scot watched on in disbelief as bottom club Wycombe Wanderers plundered five goals without reply to inflict his heaviest-ever defeat in charge of Pools.
This weekend sees Cooper take his play-off chasing troops to Walsall, the Saddlers having only clambered clear of the drop zone thanks to an impressive midweek win over Sheffield United.
But the Pools chief is adamant there will be no horror re-run at the Bescot Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
“Walsall are another one of those fighting for every point right now,” he said.
“Wycombe were down at the bottom as well and they turned us over big time the other week. We don’t want that to ever happen again. These boys know that Wycombe was unacceptable and we know that won’t happen again.”
While Pools were going down to the most undeserved of 1-0 defeats at Huddersfield on Tuesday, Walsall were getting the better of the high-flying Blades in a thrilling 3-2 triumph which saw all of the goals arrive in the second half.
And Cooper believes those two matches serve to highlight the slender margins which separate teams in League One.
“The top boys have gone out of their way to spend big and they’re up there on merit,” he said. “But there’s nothing between the rest of us and even then we can still compete with the bigger teams.”
Pools’ form reads won one, drawn one, lost one going into tomorrow and they remain eight points adrift of sixth position with 11 games left to play.
They are without Gary Liddle (shin), James Poole (thigh) and Luke James (back) for tomorrow’s trip. Ritchie Humphreys is expected to continue in a central striking role.