Colin Cooper has urged his players to make the most of their FA Cup opportunity this weekend by showing the confidence and belief to get past Coventry City at Victoria Park.
The Pools boss has revealed that he believes Saturday’s game could be a defining moment in his side’s season, with the potential for a big Third Round tie the prize for this weekend’s winners.
And having seen Pools knocked out of the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Cooper knows that the result this weekend could shape the course of the campaign.
“Saturday could be almost a defining fixture,” he told Pools Player.
“We had Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup which was always going to be difficult so early in the season and then we had a couple of good results in the JPT and I think we all agree should probably have gone through again but we didn’t.
“We had a good result in the First Round of the FA Cup and now this tie is on the horizon we could be going in to the New Year looking forward to something exciting, or going in to the Christmas thinking we have to knuckle down and see what we can produce in the league.
“So tomorrow could be a defining fixture in terms of where our season pitches itself at this moment in time.
“We don’t want to put any kind of pressure on obviously, but we want to go in to Saturday’s game excited and full of confidence and belief that we’re good enough to beat Coventry – I think we are but we have to turn up and prove it.”
The Sky Blues arrive at The Vic with decisions to make in terms of their attacking personnel, with leading scorers Leon Clarke and Callum Wilson ruled out through injury and suspension respectively.
And with Chris Dagnall and Chris Maguire both reportedly refused permission to play in the competition by their parent clubs, City boss Steven Pressley has some selection issues to deal with.
However, Cooper is keen to ensure his players remain focused on the job they have to do and warned that Coventry will pose a threat whatever team they put out on the pitch at The Vic.
“I think Steven will have players at his disposal that he will think are more than capable of coming to Hartlepool and winning the game, so we can’t think their threat is nullified because they’ve not got their two big strikers.
“We’ve watched them ourselves and we’ve had them watched, and they’re a good footballing side.
“It’s got that little bit of extra spice because it’s the FA Cup but hopefully we’ll have a good crowd behind us and they can help roar us through to the next round.”
Click here now to see the full video interview with Colin Cooper only on Pools Player.