COLIN Cooper has called on Jack Compton to show Hartlepool United fans what he can really do before the end of the season.
The pacy 25-year-old is due for an extended run in the Pools side following a hamstring injury to regular Andy Monkhouse, which could see him out for three weeks.
The injury to the 33-year-old is a blow to Pools but Cooper says he has full faith in his replacement, who he brought to the club in the summer.
But the Pools gaffer admits the past few months have been tough for Compton, who has been out of the side and away from his young family in Cardiff.
Monkhouse’s injury has now presented the Welsh-born schemer with a golden opportunity to repeat his good form in the early stages of the season.
The former Bradford winger looked bright when he came on for Monkhouse in the 15th minute of Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bristol Rovers. And his manager wants to see him repeat that level of performance.
Cooper said: “I brought Jack here so I know the ability that the kid has, and he looked really bright when he came on against Bristol.
“One or two things off the field have stood in his way, of late.
“Jack has a young baby, who he doesn’t see very often, and his girlfriend is down in Cardiff and his family.
“It is difficult and I understand that. But he now has an opportunity to show everybody that the Jack Compton that started the season at Hartlepool will hopefully finish in the same kind of vein.”
Compton has made 30 appeareances this season, scoring four goals, but hasn’t started a game since mid-January.
But he did impress on Saturday and Cooper wants to see him repeat that when Pools, 10th in League Two, travel to sixth-placed Oxford United on Friday night.
Cooper added: “Whether Andy (Monkhouse) turns out to be injured for a week, two or longer, Jack is in the team and his job is to stay in the team and to produce what he did against Bristol Rovers this Friday.
“I was chuffed to bits because he has had a rough time as a young man, and father. He found it hard over Christmas and afterwards but he has shown what he can deliver.
“He will be fine. I think the world of him and hopefully he thinks the world of himself after last weekend.”