Colin Cooper insists his Hartlepool United side is capable of reaching the League Two play-offs, as they prepare to face promotion-chasing Rochdale today.
Pool have slipped to 15th in the table after winning just one of their last seven games, yet they are only seven points outside the play-off places, and a further two points behind fifth-placed Dale.
Cooper said: “I believe we are good enough to make the play-offs, but League Two is so tight that you’re only a few bad results from dropping right down as well.” Cooper has done his homework ahead of today’s game, after watching Rochdale in FA Cup action last weekend as the Lancashire side knocked out Championship Leeds United in the third round.
“It was a big boost to be able to go and watch Rochdale with my own eyes last weekend,” he said.
“I thought on the whole Rochdale played some nice football against Leeds, were fairly solid at the back and created plenty of opportunities too.
“They do have a certain way and style of playing so we have to be able to cope with what they throw at us and also come up with something to cause them problems.”
Midfielder Matty Dolan has returned to Middlesbrough now his loan spell at Pools has ended, and his place could be taken by Tony Sweeney this afternoon.
Jack Compton and JordanRichards are also back in contention after recovering from calf andhernia problems respectively,and playing for the reserves inmidweek.