Ex-Black Cats youngster Thomas is loving life with Pools – despite links to Rangers and Championship clubs

Hartlepool United's Nathan Thomas. Picture by Frank Reid
Hartlepool United's Nathan Thomas. Picture by Frank Reid
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Nathan Thomas might be a man in demand – but the attacking ace is “loving” his time at Hartlepool United.

Rangers have been watching the 21-year-old while it is believed two Sky Bet Championship clubs are monitoring the situation.

Thomas joined Pools from Mansfield in the January transfer window for an undisclosed fee. It proved a shrewd bit of business from then boss Ronnie Moore and chairman Gary Coxall.

The former Sunderland youth team product was a revelation, his best form coming during the reign of new boss Craig Hignett, Thomas being one of the stars of the March revival which carried Pools from the brink to mid-table security.

Thomas says happiness off the park after getting a move back to his native Teesside has helped him on the pitch – along with the faith shown in him by Hignett, a man he watched when supporting Middlesbrough as a youngster.

“I’m absolutely loving my football,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get home for years to get settled.

“This happened at the right time in my career for me and my football in the last few months has the been the best it’s been.

“It’s because I’m playing.

“It’s hard when you’re sat on the bench week-in, week-out and only getting five minutes.

“You can’t really make an impact or doing anything to contribute to the game.

“Higgy’s been brilliant and he’s played me every week.”

The fact that happiness is there means Thomas’s head is less likely to be turned by any interest from elsewhere.

Thomas has spoken of his pride at how the side turned the season around in such an exciting fashion though admitted those highs in March may have contributed to the down of losing the last four games of the League Two programme.

“You can see how far we came in such a short space of time,” he explained.

“We were third bottom when I signed, looking like we were on the downward spiral and it was going to be a long season.

“To have been safe with a month to go was a credit to all the boys, management and coaching staff.

“Everyone’s been fantastic and the training levels went up.

“You can see it’s been a long, hard season but to turn it around like we did it’s taken its toll.

“We did the hard work, grafted for months to save the club and keep us in the Football League.

“Maybe we took out foot off the gas a little bit.”