Neale Cooper: Hartlepool players have to lift form for themselves

Neale Cooper

Hartlepool United first-team coach Neale Cooper has told his players they owe it to themselves to improve the club's form regardless of his future.

Pools extended their winless run to 10 games with a 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient on Tuesday to leave them four points adrift of safety in League One.

"Whatever happens with me, they ought to have a serious look [at themselves]," Cooper told BBC Tees.

"That wasn't good enough, I'm hurting again."

Away form has been Pools' downfall so far this season, with six defeats from seven games on the road, although they have only won one game at home.

"I'm saying the same things in the changing room at the moment," Cooper added.

"It was a beautiful night, beautiful pitch, beautiful little stadium, I was dying to put my boots on.

"If you don't enjoy playing football in that then you shouldn't be playing the game."

He returned to Hartlepool last December after former boss Mick Wadsworth was dismissed after a run of seven consecutive home defeats.

Cooper's previous stint in charge led Pools to the cusp of the play-offs before his sudden exit at the tail-end of the 2004-05 campaign, but the former Gillingham and Peterhead manager has been unable to replicate that form so far.

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