DETERMINED Charlie Wyke is looking to repay the faith shown in him by Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper.
The 21-year-old striker joined the Sky Bet League Two club on loan from Championship neighbours Middlesbrough ahead of last weekend’s long trip south to Wimbledon.
He made an instant impact, scoring the equaliser in the 46th minute with a header from two-yards out before Marlon Harewood bagged the winner.
Wyke was delighted with his instant impact as he looks to repay a manager he knows well.
The pair have previously worked together at Boro and Wyke was pleased to become the latest recruit from just down the A19.
Pools have been dubbed “Boro’s Reserves” in some quarters in recent months given the strong links at the Clarence Road club.
As well as Cooper and Wyke, goalkeeping coach and assistant manager Stephen Pears is a former Boro player as are summer signings Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby, while winger Ryan Brobbel is also on loan from the Teessiders.
Add to that, Jonathan Franks and Brad Walker, who both came through the youth system at the Riverside, then it is easy to see why.
Wyke admits the strong Boro connections has helped him settle in at Pools and a goal was certainly a dream ‘second debut’, on his return to the club.
He spent time on loan at Pools two years ago as John Hughes’ side headed towards relegation from League One, making 26 appearances in the 2012-13 campaign, scoring twice.
But is looking forward to a better season this time round.
“I worked with Colin at Middlesbrough for a couple of years and he is an excellent manager,” said the Boro-born forward who insisted it was an “easy” decision to return to Pools.
“I know him well and am looking forward to working under him again.
“You can see he is a good manager in the way that he leads the team.”
Pools did well with their loan signings from Boro last season, including Luke Williams, Matty Dolan and defender Christian Burgess, who has since moved to Peterborough United.
Cooper will be hoping Wyke proves as big a hit and the forward admits it has been easy to settle in.
Wyke added: “There are obviously a lot of Boro connections here and I have been playing with Ryan Brobbel since I was eight-year-old.
“There is also Franksy, Batesy, Parnaby, the gaffer and Pearsy – everyone!
“We all know how each other works and I am enjoying my stay here.
“It is a month that I’m here initially and we’ll just see how it goes.”
Confidence at the club was certainly raised following last weekend’s victory, the first of the season for Cooper’s side.
It followed four straight defeats in league and cup competitions but goals from Wyke and a composed Harewood strike secured the three points.
The on-loan Boro striker impressed on his return and he looks far stronger than the raw youngster fans watched when he was last here playing in a struggling side.
Wyke, who has been given the Number 24 shirt at Pools, has arrived on a one-month loan deal initially but there are hopes it will be extended.
Wyke came on against Pools for Wimbledon last season during a loan spell at Kingsmeadow where he scored twice in 17 games for the Wombles.
In that match he helped turn the game in the home side’s favour but he is now looking to do the same for Cooper and repay the faith shown in him, with Cheltenham next up at Whaddon Road tomorrow.
“That was a tough game last time but Colin Cooper must have been impressed and took me out on loan.
“I want to pay him back by working hard and scoring goals for him.”