DVD review at Victoria Park

Exit: Andy Rafferty

Exit: Andy Rafferty

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

MORE often than not when a manager sits his players down to watch a rerun of a defeat, it’s tagged as a video nasty.
For Hartlepool United’s squad, after  losing 6-2 at Port Vale, while watching a re-run of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup exit wasn't enjoyable, it was an education. 
Cooper and his squad were at Victoria Park on Wednesday to go over their humbling at Vale Park.
The manager hopes his players have learned from watching it back. The proof will come tomorrow when Bury are at Victoria Park for the first home game of the season.
“It’s not the start we expected, certainly not on Tuesday,’’ said Cooper. “We all came in on Wednesday and watched Port Vale again from start to finish, which I felt was important.
“We saw things we did well, which we did, and things we weren’t great at – which were evident. We left the ground having watched it, it’s out of the system and now we prepare for the first home game, a fixture we are eager to get on with.
“I wouldn’t be a coach / manager if I didn’t analyse things properly. The one thing we are trying hard to rectify is week by week analysis, to watch things back and see your own performance. Otherwise it’s me saying things and taking things on board. When you see it back again, you see things you did quite well or not well at all. 
“If you are honest, and the lads left after watching it with a good discussion. The consensus was let’s crack on. 
“You can point as many ways as you want, but I am looking forward to this game coming. I said to the players that no matter how they are feeling it will happen from time to time. 
“It was a very honest conversation about Port Vale. And we had a conversation with the referee’s assessor on Monday, when he apologised for not being awarded a penalty at Stevenage, which could have brought us a draw. 
“On the back of that, we conceded in that fashion on Tuesday, which is an extra kick where it hurts.’’’
After losing at Stevenage on Saturday, the manner of the defeat at Vale Park was a shock to the system for Cooper and his squad. 
Cooper is a big advocate of classroom coaching and, while Pools don’t have the staffing levels or resources of many, the manager will always make the most of what he has at his disposal.
“Tuesday was tough. I’d like to think people take it personally, I do,’’ he admitted. “Class coming in on Wednesday as a learning experience, not a punishment. We have to see things again. Feedback, positive and negatively, visually and vocally. 
“Visually is the most positive. You see things with  your own eyes that  you may have thought was rubbish, but was brilliant and vice versa.
“The reality is probably somewhere in between. Encourage feedback between themselves and improve as players. We all agreed some of Tuesday wasn’t good enough and we have a couple of days work to get it right for the weekend.’’
Pools yesterday released goalkeeper Andy Rafferty from his contract. 
The 26-year-old has not been involved in the first-team this season. He missed the opening two games, with Pools stating he was injured in training last week.
Pools last Friday signed Sunderland youth goalkeeper Joel Dixon on an emergency loan deal and he was on the bench at Stevenage, with Jonathan Barber, the club’s youth team keeper on duty at Port Vale. 
Cooper was asked about Rafferty’s injury at yesterday morning’s pre-match press conference, but said it was something the club “was keeping in-house”.
A statement about his future was released a little over an hour later. 
Rafferty made three appearances at the end of last season, and made seven first-team apperances in total.
He last night used Twitter to wish Pools well and said it was time for a fresh start. 

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