Colin Cooper says he can’t wait to get down to business after the fixtures for the 2013/14 League Two campaign were revealed on Wednesday morning.
The Pools boss will oversee his first training session next Thursday when the players report back for pre season and seeing the schedule in print has whetted his appetite further.
“I think seeing those fixtures all laid out just builds the excitement and we just can’t wait to get going,” Cooper told us.
“It’s a good test for us in the first game with Phil Brown bringing his Southend side here; it will be good for him to come back to The Vic and I imagine he’ll be wanting to push on after settling in over the last six months.
“I think the first week of the season, those first three games against Rochdale, Forest and Southend, will go a long way to showing us where we stand.
“Things will be different to how they have been in the past at the Club so that first seven days will give us a chance to see how we are going.”
Cooper says that the festive period could be a crucial time for the Club as they play four games in eleven days and has admitted that making sure the squad prepare well will be a key factor.
“Although we’re not at home directly over Christmas we have those home games either side of it against Burton on 21st December and Bury on New Year’s Day.
“It’s always a hectic period and this year will be no different – it’s nice to spend some time with the family over Christmas but as footballers we have to be ultra-professional.
“With away games on 26th and 29th we’ll have to make sure that we get the right amount of rest, recovery and preparation – that will be important for everyone.”
It’s the first time since 2006/07 that Pools will play at home on the final day of the season when they host Exeter City on Saturday 3rd May after travelling to Plymouth Argyle for the final away game the previous weekend.
And Cooper says it will be the ideal opportunity for the players and staff to show their appreciation to supporters, who he insists will have a key role to play during 2013/14.
“It’s always nice to finish with a home game, you always hope that you’re celebrating something of course but even if we aren’t that will give us a chance to thank the supporters because we’ll by relying on hem a hell of a lot this season.
“I know the final away game of the season has become a traditional day for fancy dress – I’ve followed it with interest over the last couple of years with the penguins and smurfs and it’s been amazing.
“I’d like to think that if they are going to do it again at Plymouth this year then if there is something to play for in the last home game against Exeter they might be able to keep the costumes for an extra week!”
Click here to see all of the fixtures for 2013/14.