This week’s Fan Feature sees me talk to Monkey Hangers expert Paul Bage as he looks back on a mixed season so far and ahead to Saturday’s meeting with the Cobblers. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @PaulHUFC…
How has the club changed since relegation last season?
We have pretty much kept the same squad that we came down with, we changed our manager/assistant manager and Cooper has added some good players to our squad.
How has the transition back to League Two been?
It was tough, for a while. We couldn’t score. We could do everything else apart from put the ball in the net and silly mistakes were costing us.
This is Colin Cooper’s first full managerial position…how’s he getting on?
After a tough start, things are coming together. Players were going into games expecting to lose, it’s what we had done for the past year. He’s changed the mindset around from expecting to lose every game to believing we can win games.
You’re in mid-table at the moment…is that about on target or do you have higher ambitions?
Before the start of the season I said we would finish 8th to 14th. I still think that now. After such a good October, I think a lot of the fans do expect to finish higher. I think next season is a more realistic chance of us finishing in top 7. We have a very young squad. Luke James has just turned 19, our first choice centre back are only 20 and 22.
Luke James is really coming of age this season…how far can he go?
I think he could play in the Premier League one day, I don’t think he is ready yet but he is showing us what he can do. He is fast and runs at defenders. Defenders hate playing against him.
And, finally, a prediction for the game on Saturday?
I think it will be tougher than most people think. You’s are coming into this on the back on a FA Cup win and an impressive result against Fleetwood last week. I’ll say 1-0 to us, Luke James with the goal.
Hartlepool United Links…
Official Website: http://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/
Ground Guide: http://www.footballgroundguide.com/hartlepool_united/
BBC News Section: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/teams/hartlepool-united