Cooper challenges squad to move through the gears
Neale Cooper has challenged his squad to move up through the gears as they look to work themselves in to prime condition for the big kick-off in a fortnight's time.
The Pools boss was happy with some aspects of the 1-1 draw with Whitby Town on Wednesday evening but was critical of some sloppy passing during the game.
And now he says it's time to start really shaping things towards the Capital One Cup game at Crewe on 11th August and the players need to improve their sharpness.
"I had mixed feelings about the game on Wednesday really," Cooper explained.
"It was a really good workout and a very competitive ninety minutes; the lads were getting smashed in to with tackles, Luke James got some particularly rough treatment.
"We knew it would be a difficult game for us but it was a good one. We wanted to get a couple of the boys as close to ninety minutes as we could.
"I thought one of the brightest parts of the game was when Nathan Luscombe came on. I had a chat with him and he knows I wasn't happy with the way he came back after the summer but I thought he did well linking up with Steve Howard when he came on.
"But the mistakes we made were frustrating; that's the stupid thing for me. There were basic errors by too many players - passing a ball is a basic skill and at times we passed it off the part or to the other team.
"It's down to more games now though; the lads need match sharpness. You can be the best physically trained group of boys, but you need to have that match sharpness too.
"Everyone has had around the same amount of minutes now so we have to start looking towards what kind of team we'll be putting out at Crewe in the opening game."