Mark Cooper says Barrow AFC’s infuriating inconsistency has highlighted areas that must be addressed come the end of the season.

The Bluebirds’ inability to build on positive results was in evidence again this week.

They followed the encouraging victory over Northampton Town and draw with Tranmere Rovers with defeat at Hartlepool United.

The game saw Barrow take the lead before conceding three times in the first half.

Manager Cooper said the trait is something that must be rooted out once the Bluebirds get to the end of the campaign with their EFL status hopefully intact.

“It’s been the story of the season. It tells you something – we’re just too inconsistent,” he said.

“You can talk about the team selection, argue about the wrong tactics, but that doesn’t come into it when you’ve just got to stop a shot when you’re two yards away from the ball, instead of turning your back.

“You might have to take one in the chest or face to stop the ball going in.

“That just comes down to desire and, throughout the season, we’ve been inconsistent.

“We need to get to the end of the season, we need to get safe and address that in the summer.

“Everybody in the squad has had a chance to play. And play quite a lot of games. We have to address it. We have to get safe and address that.”

Barrow host Stevenage this weekend at a time they are five points above the relegation zone.

The 20th-placed Bluebirds’ safety margin has been cut by Oldham Athletic’s return to form under John Sheridan.

It makes this Saturday’s encounter with Paul Tisdale's 17th-placed visitors another important afternoon in the bid to move away from danger.

Cooper says the “desire and intensity” he says was lacking from Barrow’s defending at Victoria Park must be in evidence this weekend.

The Mail: Barrow failed to build on John Rooney's stunning opener on TuesdayBarrow failed to build on John Rooney's stunning opener on Tuesday

He admitted the frustration that John Rooney’s spectacular long-range opening goal had not been able to claim all the headlines.

“It’s not been easy for him, coming into a group that’s inconsistent,” he said.

“But you can see his quality, his leadership quality.

“We should be talking about his goal the other night getting us a result. But because we don’t want to do that other side of the game that we’ve talked about, we’re not talking about his goal, we’re talking about something else.

“We have to try and hide the inconsistencies that have dogged the club for the last couple of years. We’ve got to put that right.”