Cooper expects a different battle

The Northern Echo: DIFFERENT OUTLOOK: Pools boss Colin Cooper DIFFERENT OUTLOOK: Pools boss Colin Cooper

COLIN Cooper is expecting a bit of a different test from Coventry City this evening.

After the sides drew 1-1 at Victoria Park in the second round of the FA Cup last week, they replay tonight.

A trip to Barnsley in round three awaits the winners.

“I would suggest that Coventry will play a different team to last week, without knowing Steven Pressley’s mind,’’ said Cooper after the Sky Blues played three centre halves in the first meeting.

“They have players back and available and have a new strike partnership back. We will have to cope with that they do and their formation at the Vic was different to the norm.

“They are a division above us, but it’s an FA Cup tie so we may as well have a right crack at it.’’ Pools started 3-5-2 at Cheltenham on Saturday, but soon ditched it when they fell two goals down. Two goals from Jon Franks earned a point and stopped a run of three successive away defeats.

“It was important to end the losing run away from home we were on, we made changes before and during the game and we look again at what is right for Tuesday,’’ added Cooper.

“Coventry have a few other players available from last week and we have to counter what they do – we go at them, go out the Cup or stay in.

“There’s a few bumps and bruises, but nothing significant.

We will give everyone as long as we can.’’ Tonight’s game is played at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium and, with Sky Blues fans boycotting games at their temporary home, a paltry crowd of as little as 1,000 could be in attendance.

Striker Luke James is likely to stay on the bench this evening, following the impressive partnership of Franks and Andy Monkhouse at the weekend.

“Franksy enjoyed his game and that’s where he wants to play, through the middle,’’ said Cooper. “The goalkeeper made an excellent save from him early on and he could have had a hat-trick.

“Luke has had a few batterings of late and has worked his socks off. Franksy has been raring to have a go and we went two up front, something different.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the comeback.

“At two-down we were still creating chances and we will always create chances because of the players we have.

“The disappointing thing was conceding after four minutes.

They turned us around in the first half and put us under pressure.

“The first goal was a bit of confusion, the second they get a good flicked header on it.

“And I think overall we were alright, coming back from two down to have a chance of winning the game. We have done it and done us proud. It takes some guts to show discipline and shape when you are two down to come back into it.

“We started with three at the back and the work we had done during the week I was happy with it. But after the second goal we had to do something and change.

“We changed to a back four, went with four across midfield and stuck with two up front. Andy Monkhouse was a threat in the air, Franksy a threat on the ground and up front it worked OK.’’


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