sport

Cooper can't explain collapse

Boss Colin Cooper will make Hartlepool's players view a video following their 4-2 defeat at home to Mansfield.

Cooper was baffled as his side, who had not conceded a goal at Victoria Park since January 11, saw a 2-1 lead with less than 20 minutes remaining turn into a two-goal defeat.

The Stags had only scored four times in their last six outings but found the new three times in 18 minutes through James Jennings, Matt Rhead and Jamie McGuire.

Jennings had opened the scoring before Marlon Harewood equalised and then saw a spot-kick saved by Alan Marriott in first-half stoppage time.

Luke James' 15th goal of the season put Pools ahead on 53 minutes but their late collapse left them nine points adrift of the play-offs with seven games left.

Cooper was frustrated with his side's inability to hold on the lead and will let his players know such a performance is unacceptable.

He said: "It's a result and performance we aren't accustomed to. The goals and the nature of them from our point of view isn't great.

"We've not conceded a goal here in a while and it's hard to take. There're lessons to be learned.

"The goals and the lead up to them isn't great. We need to sit down, watch it again, and make sure we don't repeat the mistakes.

"I think they will be surprised when they sit down and see them again. It happens sometimes and it's my job to analyse it. You learn more when you lose.

"I've been keen to watch the goals again straight after the game. It's not good viewing.

"As a team we look at them. As an individual we ask what we could have done to stop them.

"For the younger players in particular it's a harsh lesson. We have to make sure it's a one-off."