Colin Cooper is backing his players to be firing on all cylinders when they come up against promotion-chasing Rochdale at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The Pools boss utilised his free weekend to go and watch Keith Hill’s men in action on Saturday and was impressed with what he saw as Dale beat Leeds United 2-0 in the FA Cup Third Round.
Cooper is always studious when it comes to the opposition but he admitted that being able to see Rochdale in person so soon before they come to The Vic was a real bonus.
“It was a big boost to be able to go and watch Rochdale with my own eyes last weekend,” Cooper told Pools Player.
“Whether Keith makes changes to his team or not is irrelevant really because they do have a certain way and style of playing so we have to be able to cope with what they throw at us and also come up with something to cause them problems.
“I thought on the whole Rochdale played some nice football against Leeds, were fairly solid at the back and created plenty of opportunities too.
“They have some real options going forward so we’ll have to be careful – we saw that when we played there on the opening day so we must be mindful of that but also make sure we give our players the freedom and belief to go and express themselves.”
Final preparations were put in place this morning when the players trained at Billingham Town after bad weather made pitches at their Durham training base a little heavy.
With no game in the schedule last weekend, Cooper gave his squad some time off and they have returned to work this week with a spring in their step and he says they’ll be raring to go on Saturday.
“I think we’ve asked a lot of questions of the players since we came in to the Club,” he explained.
“Hopefully that little break we’ve been able to give them has freshened one or two up individually and that shows on Saturday.”
Click here now to watch the full video interview with Colin Cooper only on Pools Player.