The Opposition View - Hartlepool
Following yesterday's 2-1 win at Hartlepool United courtesy of two fine goals from young Max Kretzschmar, here are some views on the game from Pools' manager Colin Cooper and a selection of their fans.
Cooper felt his side had the ball over the line in the first half and that it would have been a different game had the referee allowed it.
"I'm told that the ball's well crossed the line for our goal in the first half, but the referee hasn't given it," he said.
"I said to the referee at the end of the game, if it's proved that the ball crossed the line, then he's actually cost us the first goal in the game and that's the biggest part of what we're looking for. We get our noses in front we're a different team, we get our noses behind and I thought we got anxious."
"There was only one team in it at half time and the instruction we gave to start the second half was to start at a high tempo and get Wycombe on the back foot, and I don't think we did it."
"It felt slow and flat and I'm trying to get the officials to speed up, to get our players to speed up and that never quite happened, and the two goals that Wycombe scored weren't good goals but they've got them the three points."
"The referee was allowing the tempo to be slow, even though I asked him on numerous occasions during the game 'can we speed it up, can we get the ball back on the pitch quicker?' That never quite happened and it gets a bit frustrating stood on the side asking the same question."
"It just felt as though they were allowing Wycombe to do what they wanted to do which was to slow the game down and not allow us to get into any kind of Rhythm and any tempo."
"When we went a goal behind we went into our shells a little bit and not until we actually went two goals behind did we come back out of that shell."
"I would have liked to see a better reaction after the first goal, I just thought we looked a bit anxious. We've finished strongly I suppose, but it's not a game that I should be sitting here thinking that we've lost, because it's a game that we should never have lost."
The Pools' fans gave a more balanced assessment of the game than their manager as they struggle to remain positive in the face of last season's relegation and their terrible start to life in League Two. Sound familiar?
The following extracts are taken from Pooliebunker, Into the Blue, The Hartlepool Mail, and Vital Hartlepool.
Terry Graham wrote:
'A very entertaining and encouraging first-half, but for the 3rd league match on the trot, an underpowered lacklustre second half display. I don't know what our management team say at half time but it clearly doesn't work and the insistence of long balls for the Wycombe defenders to nod clear is soul destroying for the supporters.'
Chip Fireball wrote:
'Their whole back four were massive like. When we got the ball down we caused them problems. Unfortunately there was way too much launching it long in the air which played to their strengths, especially as the referee decided any fouls their back four committed wouldn't be penalised.'
Man in a grey suit wrote:
'A first-half where we really should have gone in with at least a two goal advantage.'
Rift House Red wrote:
'I could not see anything other than a pools win at half time. How wrong I was! Another average team gets an easy win due to our inability to play for 90 mins and convert chances when offered.'
'For 20 minutes we battered them and their goal had a charmed life. After the initial 20 minutes we went flat and Wycombe started to come into the game. Second Half only one team came out to play football and it wasn't us.'
'The ref was ****ing clueless. How he or his linesman couldn't see that ball cross the line I'll never know. Maybe it didn't, but I'm 100% sure it did and he was a lot closer than me.'
'It's just a smoke screen. Let's put blame on ref, let's make the fans think we were unlucky... It shows how desperate the club is doing this. In all the years, we have never seen things like this before, never have the club posted pictures of goals that weren't given on the net... desperate if you ask me.'
'Pools releasing this picture (ball over line) is designed to take the focus away from another awful defeat and zero investment.'
'Cooper must go if we lose to Accrington. It's no good saying 'oh we played ok first half, we just need the final touch perfecting.' B***ocks. 6 games without a win for a team just relegated is appalling. Wycombe were chasing the ball right til the end like they were losing or something. We were lazy.'
'I'm giving it one more game and my season ticket's going on eBay. TOTAL GARBAGE.'
Old Poolie wrote:
'Pools had at least 3 good chances to score in the first-half. in the second-half they weren't able to string two passes together. No idea what went wrong, but as soon as Wycombe scored the first goal, the result was never in doubt.'
'Thought we were the better team for much of the first half although the lack of genuine goal threat was again sorely on display. Their first goal, a good strike completely out of nothing following a scrappy bit of play and not in any way connected to good football, changed things.'
Ritchies birthmark wrote:
'They changed at half time to start playing more attacking football after seeing how defensive we had become. Two defensive midfielders in a 442 is suicide.'
pweddie pwedster wrote:
'Typical Pools. Should be home and dry by half time, can't ****king score. Away team scores twice bang bang goodnight. I hate football.'
'I felt sick when their second went in. How the **** were we not at least 2 up at half time. Players have to take responsibility for their own composure in front of goal. It's a joke that every chance was snatched at/ spooned/scooped/slashed at in that first half.'
'There will be parties all over town: Pools have actually scored a goal in the league!!!!!! I must say it was unexpected and ultimately meaningless cos Wycombe take the points. I'm depressed.'
'No idea, no passion and NO HOPE. Said it before and I'll say it again, with this load of players and management, the Conference is a certainty.'
'What a massive difference between Cooper and Ainsworth. Ainsworth kicked every ball, willing his team on, and after the lifeless first half they came out totally pumped up. Cooper just seemed to tighten his folded arms a bit more.'
Mick Tait's Head Bandage wrote:
'I like a manager who's animated on the touchline, I think it can rub off on the players on the pitch. Gareth Ainsworth would appear to have passion in abundance. Having said that, it's probably a lot easier to be like that when your team are coasting to an easy away victory.'
Next Game: Plymouth v Wycombe - Sat 14th Sept - 3.00pm