MICKY Barron believes it’s time James Poole “did himself justice” and forced his way back into the Hartlepool United team, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The 22-year-old was a revelation at times last season, twice single-handedly winning games with stunning, solo efforts.
This campaign, however, has been a different story for Poole, the forward having made just 10 starts, scoring one goal.
But Barron has seen a revival in the former Manchester City trainee in recent weeks, and says he should now be pushing for a recall under John Hughes.
“James has to do himself justice,” the Pools coach said ahead of Saturday’s League One trip to Shrewsbury.
“I’m a big fan of his and we saw last season what he is capable of – at times he was brilliant.
“He has got real potential and that ability to do something different.
“In training and for the reserves he has done very well recently – when he came on at Sheffield United and set up a goal, I thought he was excellent.
“But it’s now a case of doing that regularly for the first team.
“I’m sure he wants to put himself in the manager’s plans and it’s up to him to do that.”
Barron also believes that Poole will fit into Hughes’ footballing ideals.
He was one of the few positives to emerge from the reserves’ 5-0 defeat at Mansfield and scored in the weekend friendly victory over Northern League club Norton & Stockton Ancients.
Barron added: “James will suit the manager’s style of play. We saw during the week, on a bad pitch at Mansfield, that he was one of the few players who could get to grips with the ball.
“He has that quality as well as the pace to get in behind defenders.”
Poole will vie for a start with Middlesbrough loanee Charlie Wyke at Shrewsbury, with Hughes having a fully-fit squad to choose from.