HARTLEPOOL UNITED and Colin Cooper are hoping Victoria Park on Monday will be a happy and content place.
Pools, who have pegged season ticket prices back to as little as £100 in recent seasons, have reduced prices to £5 for their game with Morecambe – in the hope a bumper crowd will help secure the one win they could do with to ease relegation fears.
A run of five successive defeats has left Pools only three points in front of second-bottom Northampton, with four games to go.
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A positve return on Saturday, at Burton, would set them up for Monday and boss Cooper admitted: “We have to give as good as we get and come back with something positive and stop losing games. We are more than capable of stopping this run and what’s better than going there, getting a positive result and finishing the job off against Morecambe?’’
Cooper last weekend, after losing to Chesterfield, called on his players to stand up and be counted this week in training and put themselves in the frame for the run-in.
A positive response from his players will go a long way to securing safety and, with most teams playing on Good Friday, they will have a marker of where they stand before playing.
Cooper reiterated: “The people who want to be out there will do more than enough to get the results, the players who don’t want to be out there tell me stuff.
“It’s hard, it’s hard to go over that white line, either doing well or not doing well. In a three-week shoot-off, like we are, we have to make sure we get more points to make sure we don’t get dragged into anything at the end of the season.
“People who want to step out there are those you need. I want them to knock on my door, be ready. I told them to be disappointed on Saturday, Chesterfield was a game we should not have lost – maybe not enough to win, but not to lose.
“Next we go to Burton and I need some strong minds and bodies, who look at me to be ready and stand up. There’s plenty there and they will show me Monday to Friday this week.
“Those who want to play will show me.’’ A number of Pools younger players have showed signs of fatigue and tiredness as their first season as first-team regulars catches up on them.
Now Cooper needs one final push from them all.
“We played Chesterfield, and that was after not having had a game since last weekend, and were still talking of people being short of energy,’’ he reflected.
“Back to back games leaves us fighting for what we have got. Everyone has the same programme, but again I want to see people who want to play in those games.
“We are more than capable, all we need and the challenge is to get more points than those behind us. It’s not about 50 points, 52 points or whatever, it’s about more than the others below us."
With admission on Easter Monday pegged back, Pools chief executive Russ Green is calling on supporters to rally round and show their support for the club and the initiative.
He said: “I was at our game with Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago and they had a large crowd which gave the team a big lift.
“I’d love us to be able to create something similar on Monday and hopefully this offer will help persuade a few more fans to come and enjoy the game.
“We know how much this football club means to everyone connected to it so we want everyone to come together on Monday and make it an atmosphere to remember and hopefully a result to match.
“It’s clichéd I know, but our fans can be the twelfth man on Monday and help give us the edge as we look for the results we need to finish as high up the table as possible.’’
Tickets, at £5 for all areas of the ground, are on sale now and available on the turnstiles on the day.