Colin Cooper has reflected on his first away win as a manager by demanding more.
Hartlepool United beat Mansfield Town 4-1 on Saturday, and are unbeaten in their last four away games. But with two more coming up this week, starting with tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to struggling Sheffield United.
The Blades have not won since the season’s opening weekend, only reaching round two with a penalty shoot-out win over Scunthorpe United. But still victory at Bramall Lane would grab more attention than Hartlepool’s weekend heroics.
“I doubt League Two will sit up and take notice (of Saturday’s victory),” said manager Cooper. “But it’s small steps and that was a terrific away performance.
“We have two more away matches to come, though.
“We’ll be able to gauge on Saturday evening when we’re coming back from Exeter how the week has gone. Let’s not leave everything at Mansfield – let’s go to Sheffield and Exeter and back this up.
“If the players are prepared to put their bodies on the line and then are prepared to pass and play when the opportunity arises, then we’ll continue to create chances.
“If we do that I think we’ll be all right.”
Jack Baldwin will be missing after his fifth booking of the season. Striker Steve Howard is also suspended for tonight’s game, and the trip to Exeter.
Matty Dolan missed Saturday’s win with a groin strain and it is doubtful if he will be fit to replace Baldwin in South Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, manager Graham Kavanagh has called on Carlisle United to play with the confidence their recent results merit at another in-form side, League Two Morecambe.
The Shrimpers are unbeaten in their last six matches, winning four, including a terrific comeback from 3-0 down after 23 minutes to beat leaders Chesterfield 4-3 on Saturday.
Kavanagh, though, is yet to taste defeat since taking over from Greg Abbott, even if he did lose his 100% record in his first game in permanent charge, Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury Town.
“There is a now a confidence and a momentum building up and I think it’s important when we get the opportunity to play the game that we take it,” said Kavanagh.
“There was a stage on Saturday where we became a little bit too predictable. That’s frustrating because we have players who can handle the ball and who are good enough to break teams down. We’ve also got players who can stretch the game and put the other team under pressure. We need to use those assets more. We actually felt we were the better team but we weren’t really threatening their goal. We changed things about a bit and it worked for us so, on the whole, we are very pleased.”
Teenagers Brad Potts and Dave Symington could start, having come off the bench at the New Meadow.
But as the most successful side in the Trophy’s history – with two wins from six finals – Carlisle are unlikely to take the game lightly.
On-loan Nathan Eccleston could start after making his debut from the bench on Saturday, particularly as Lee Miller (calf) and Lewis Guy (throat infection) are out.