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Pools feet are firmly on the ground
COLIN Cooper insists the right preparation will ensure there’s no chance of anyone getting carried away at Hartlepool United.
An hour after Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Bradford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the manager was extolling the virtues of keeping his players grounded.
It’s a mantra he carried on yesterday as his players returned to training following Tuesday’s game.
And the start they have had to their League Two season – goalless and winless in five games – means anyone wanting to crow about Tuesday is hardly on firm ground
“Anybody coming on Saturday thinking that we'll roll Wycombe over is naïve,’’ said Cooper.
“They are a team that are full of confidence and believe that they can get results home and away.
He added: “You don't want to batter them down because you want them to feel good about themselves still.
“But you want them to realise that it's just one game.
“We have to get the foundations right first in any game in order for the creative stuff to flourish.
“The non-glamorous stuff in football is the cornerstone.
“That's when the young talented players can express their talent.’’
Pools will again be without Antony Sweeney tomorrow, as he recovers from a calf strain suffered almost a month ago.
Steve Howard will be available after missing out in midweek with a cut cheek, but is likely to be on the bench after Luke James and Andy Monkhouse linked up well on Tuesday.
While the Football League loan window reopens next week, Cooper will still be looking to strengthen his squad.
He already has two players on loan from Middlesbrough in Matty Dolan and Christian Burgess, but Charlie Wyke won’t be following them and returning to Victoria Park.
Wyke spent the second half of last season on loan at Pools, and is now close to a return to action after a summer hip operation.
“I know Charlie was here last year and I know him really well,’’ said Cooper. “It's no disrespect to Charlie but I think the lads we've got here fulfil what he could give us.
“I made another half a dozen phone calls on Sunday to put a few irons in a few fires but it never happened.
“Just because we scored five goals doesn't mean I won't look to improve the squad.
“We're still trying to raise the bar.
“I want players who can make us better than what we are at the moment.
“If that puts pressure on the lads already here and increases competition then that's what football is all about.’’
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