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Barrow manager issues players warning ahead of Hartlepool clash



Barrow manager Mark Cooper has warned his side not to expect a lethargic Hartlepool United side tonight.

The Bluebirds travel across to Victoria Park tonight to take on The Pools in a must win game as they look to leapfrog them in the table and put some more distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Hartlepool bowed out of the FA Cup in the fourth round at the weekend ending their great cup run after a 2-0 loss at the hands of Premier League side Crystal Palace.

Meanwhile, Barrow hosted 2nd place Tranmere Rovers where they clinched a draw courtesy of a Ollie Banks penalty in the second half in what was seen as a massive result for Mark Cooper’s side.

The former Swindon boss has warned his players not to expect Hartlepool to be feeling any emotional or physical effects following their exit from the FA Cup.

Speaking to The NWE Mail, Mark Cooper said: “That would be nice – but I doubt that will happen, knowing their staff.

“[Manager] Graeme Lee, who I know well, will ensure they will be right at it.

“We have to be at it again. To get results at this level you have to compete in every game.”

Both teams will be looking to claim all three points tonight, Barrow in partcular will want to keep their run of good form continuing after taking four points from their last two games – including a win against Northampton Town.

A win tonight could see them leapfrog Hartlepool in 17th and potentially climb as high as 15th, putting some distances between them and the relegation zone.

In the North East however, Graeme Lee will be looking for his players to convert their recent draws into wins after claiming a point in each of their last three games.

Barrow are in their second season in the fourth division following their promotion from National League in 2020, they surprised everyone by staying up in the 20-21 season when they finished 21st – five points from the drop.

Hartlepool see themselves back in the football league for the first time since 2017 after they won the National League play-offs on penalties against Torquay United.

The Pools have held their own this season, but can’t afford any slip ups at the moment as they could still find themselves in a relegation dogfight as they sit nine points adrift from Oldham who are second-from-bottom.

The Verdict:

Both sides have proved that they can pick up points when needed, but Barrow in recent times have taken a major scalp in Northampton and took away a vital point from Tranmere Rovers.

They’ve scored goals at important times and they will surely be looking at tonight as an opportunity to keep their run of form going, although Hartlepool’s knack of grabbing draws – four in their last five – could prove to be a tight affair for The Bluebirds tonight as Graeme Lee could look to frustrate them for a point or even catch them out for a win.

With Hartlepool having the home advantage tonight which could very well play in their favour, you could question whether there could be some baggage from the FA Cup exit at the weekend which could nullify that advantage – compare it to a side who are grabbing points from teams high up the division, you could very much favour Barrow tonight.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Barrow manager issues players warning ahead of Hartlepool clash

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