SCOTT Harrison admits he is experiencing a “steep” learning curve at Hartlepool United after the club dropped into the bottom two, writes Richard Mennear.
The 21-year-old, on-loan at the Sky Bet League Two club from Premier League neighbours Sunderland, believes playing every week will help him grow and develop as a player.
But it is tough going at the minute after defeats away to Northampton Town and Plymouth Argyle.
Harrison’s loan deal was due to expire after the weekend defeat at Plymouth, but is has been extended for a further two months.
And the defender is pleased to be staying with Pools so he can play his part in helping them climb the table.
“It is a steep learning curve,” admitted Harrison.
“I am here to learn, it is a tough league, but that is why I am here.
“That is what will make me better though, learning what it is about and growing into it.”
Harrison’s loan spell – his second at the club after a period at the end of last season – is certainly giving him a good grounding in the game.
By his own admission the no-nonsense centre back is making mistakes and he knows they will be punished at this level.
Harrison admits it is far tougher playing league football compared to the Under-21 matches he has been used to at the Black Cats.
But he is enjoying every moment of it. So far.
He added: “The physicality of the league is totally different to the Under-21s.
“It doesn’t really compare to be honest.
“Everything is much more physical. The Under-21s isn’t too physical and you can get away with certain things and don’t really get bullied off the ball.
“Whereas here, everything is a battle. I feel like I am getting used to it but the last week has been disappointing.
“I know I am a lot better than that and I need to cut mistakes out of my game.
“You have to fully concentrate all of the time otherwise you will get punished.”
Harrison joined Pools before the Wimbledon away match last month, and since coming into the side against Shrewsbury Town, he has been partnering club captain Matthew Bates at the back.