The best is yet to come from talismanic wideman Nathan Thomas, insists Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.
The 22-year-old winger netted his sixth goal in six games on Saturday with an exquisite chip from the edge of the area to put the icing on the cake for Pools at Grimsby.
And although he was quiet in the 3-0 win, Hignett claims that Thomas’s strike, his team’s third following a Padraig Amond brace, was “world-class”.
But the gaffer reckons Thomas isn’t done yet.
“Nathan said before the game he would chip the keeper – he did it in training in the week and he had it in his head when he got the ball,” said Hignett.
“We knew what he would do, but to do it in match situation - it’s a world class goal.
“He turns up and does that which shows just how much talent the lad has.
“Nath is a character – there’s not enough of them in the game – and we are working with him to get better. He can improve. We all know what he is capable of.”
Thomas’s strike will be a contender for goal of the month, but, as good as that effort was, it wasn’t the only top-class moment in the match.
Hignett pointed towards the remarkable double save made by ex-Sunderland keeper Trevor Carson with the score finely balanced ar 2-0.
Hignett continued: “Trevor’s saves were excellent. I knew the next goal at 2-0 was massive, when you need your keeper and defenders. They were brilliant. Trevor is an international goalkeeper and he showed why. Apart from that they didn’t trouble him too much.”
Carson will miss Pools’ next two games, and Hignett admits he will be a loss to his starting plans.
Liam Donnelly will also be absent for the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Sunderland Under-23s tomorrow night.
Grimsby: McKeown, Davies, Collins, Pearson, Andrew, Vose (Berrett 76), Summerfield, Comley, Chambers (Bolarinwa 7), Bogle, Tuton (Vernon 76). Subs not used: Gowling, Mills, Jackson, Henderson.
Hartlepool Utd: Carson, Richards, Nsiala, Donnelly, Carroll, Laurent, Deverdics (Harrison 82), Hawkins, Alessandra, Amond (Paynter 82), Thomas (Fewster 75). Subs not used: Bartlett, Green, Martin, Heardman. Booked: Carroll. Goals: Amond 25, 36, Thomas 60.
Ref: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire).