JOB done, of sorts, and Colin Cooper is ready to put his plans in order for next season.
With a host of players out of contract and on the back of an underwhelming run of results that dropped Pools from play-off hopefuls to relegation contenders in the space of six successive defeats, there’s plenty for Cooper to think about.
Pools, five points from the drop with two games to go, cannot go down because not all of the teams below them can overtake them.
And, ahead of the weekend trip to Plymouth and the final game at home to Exeter a week on Saturday, Cooper will be looking to start work on next season.
“The only disappointing is that, what we have in the dressing room, and the results in the last six games should not have happened,’’ he reflected.
“But they showed me a lot, an awful lot at a goal down and a man down and win.
“Now I can put my plans into order. The planning is already done, pre-season is done, we talk about players and contract and it’s just taken six weeks to be able to implement it. But that’s what we will do in the next couple of weeks.’’ Cooper, in his first season as a manager and working alone after losing assistant boss Craig Hignett to Middlesbrough in March, admitted after an emotional and dramatic day: I don’t get too down, I don’t get too up. I enjoyed the afternoon. I said that they had to, at some point, do an unselfish act for the football club and they did that – everyone should be very proud of them.
“I think we have been looking to get to his point for six games. I wasn’t looking over my shoulder, and it might sound a bit flippant, but I don’t think two clubs would get to 49 points, our goal difference is better than the majority.
“If I’m proved wrong, then we have done what we need to do on 52 points. Confidence levels have dropped in a difficult time, but in stepping up, it’s happened.
“I’m chuffed it’s been in front of extra people in the ground. I feel there should be 5,000 people coming to watch this team all the time. I want people to be happy watching this team.
“I got some stick, James Poole comes off, Simon Walton gets sent-off. I’m not Jose Mourinho, I’m not something that might be stuck to your shoe.
“Reality is somewhere in between.’’ Pools have appealed against Simon Walton’s red card from Monday’s game. The midfielder is facing a four-game ban.
Cooper said: “I asked the referee to have a look at it. I didn’t feel it was a red, he did.
One of us is right, one wrong.’’ Pools’ reserve side lost 2-0 at Wigan in the Final Third Development League Cup, semi-final yesterday afternoon