The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

COLIN COOPER has chal­lenged Steve Howard to work his way into the Hartle­pool United start­ing line-up and win over the club’s boo boys.

Howard was met with a mixed re­cep­tion when be­ing in­tro­duced from the bench dur­ing Pools’ de­feat at home to Southend United last Satur­day.

The 37-year-old has split fans as many be­lieved the striker was on his way out af­ter spend­ing the back end of last sea­son on loan at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day.

How­ever, Cooper says Howard be­lieves he can re­gain those sup­port­ers.

“Ste­vie re­alises he has to win ev­ery­one over,” said Cooper. “The way to do that is to keep work­ing up to match fit­ness and then score goals.

“And that is what he wants to do. He wants to get fit­ter to make the peo­ple be­lieve he is the player he wants to be.”

Howard has over 200 ca­reer goals and Cooper added: “Ste­vie will be a con­stant threat if we get the ball into the box for him. He just needs to find that ex­tra yard.”

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