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League One

Curle hails soaring Magpies

22 August 2012

Notts County manager Keith Curle was delighted with how his team coped with wretched conditions at Meadow Lane to overcome a poor Hartlepool side 2-0.

Monsoon-like conditions prior to kick-off and throughout the first 15 minutes left the pitch waterlogged but playable and Hartlepool never managed to get going on a miserable night for the visitors.

A header by Francois Zoko put County ahead after 17 minutes, his second in two starts for his new side, before captain Neal Bishop sealed the win late on with a cool finish and Curle praised his team's efforts, with County now having won two out of two at the start of the League One season.

"It was a professional performance - credit to the players they were attuned to what we wanted them to do," he said

"The two wins have been against difficult teams to play against. Hartlepool are big, strong and organised and have some good players in their team as well and we needed to adapt to that and I thought we did it well."

Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper was at a complete loss to explain his side's lacklustre performance and criticised the application of some of his players.

He said: "We gifted goals - it was criminal. We hardly got a sniff in front of goal but anything that came in our box looked like it could be a goal.

"The worrying thing for me is that against Crewe we looked like we had never played together but Saturday I praised the boys for how well they had done in a fantastic defensive performance.

"Then here - the first goal he is not picked up by Peter Hartley and it's 1-0. That's a mistake and good teams don't make mistakes.

"It's a concern. One or two players are not doing well enough. I praised James Poole for his performance on Saturday but here he just jogged about - I need better than that. I think Simon (Walton) could have done better - I don't think he did enough in the middle of the park either."

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