Mark Cooper has urged his players to take the confidence and momentum gained in two good results against high-flying opposition into Tuesday evening’s trip to Hartlepool United.
The Bluebirds raised eyebrows with a brilliant win at Northampton Town last midweek and backed that up with a creditable draw against the division’s form team in Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
Now they travel to the North-East to face a Pools side who have struggled to convert their impressive cup form into the league in recent months under new boss Graeme Lee.
Cooper has happy memories to call upon as he heads to Victoria Park having claimed FA Cup scalps there during his time in charge of both Tamworth and Kettering.
Now the Bluebirds chief is eyeing more joy at Pools’ expense, but he knows it won’t be easy given that Lee’s men have lost just twice at home in the league this term and are backed by a vociferous crowd.
“Hartlepool have a good home record some good players so we’re expecting a tough game – but they will be too,” Cooper commented.
“For us, it’s about momentum and getting a run going on the back of a couple of decent results so we can keep the scoreboard ticking over and try to progress up the table.
“I’ve had some good results at Hartlepool as a manager in the past so hopefully that continues on Tuesday night.”
Cooper shared a dressing room with opposite number Lee during a season in Hartlepool colours back in 1996/97, during which he scored nine goals in 37 appearances for the Victoria Park outfit.
It’s a time he remembers fondly so he’s been delighted to see the former Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers man move into management at Pools after stepping up from a role in charge of Middlesbrough’s Under-23s.
“I played with Spike (Graeme Lee) at Hartlepool, and he was a very good centre-half,” recalled Cooper.
“He’s a good lad too and he’s enjoyed a promising start to his managerial career too so I know he will be looking for three points on Tuesday to push them further away from us in the table.
“I am pleased to see that it’s going well for him in management so far and I hope that continues – after our game there.
“It’s always been a good atmosphere at The Vic though; the fans get right behind the team, and I enjoyed my time there - but we have to try and find a way to keep them quiet on Tuesday.”