COLIN Nish is back in contention for Hartlepool United – but reserve -team boss Micky Barron admits the big Scot still has a point to prove to the fans, writes CRAIG HOPE.
The 30-year-old (pictured) – back after a two-month knee lay-off – played the full 90 minutes for Barron’s second-string during last night’s 1-0 win at Gateshead.
The timing of Nish’s return could be significant given Neale Cooper’s quest to bring in a loan centre-forward, and the boss was in the crowd at the International Stadium.
But Barron – who has worked with Nish since his summer arrival – believes that the former Hibs striker is yet to show his very best for Pools.
“I think he’s got a bit still to prove,” said Barron.
“He’s shown glimpses of what he can do and got a couple of good goals.
“He’s got good feet and can be a threat, for sure. But I think, especially at home, in some of the games he’s played, the fans haven’t seen the best of him.
“But that’s up to him to work hard now and try to get in Neale’s plans.”
Saturday’s League One visit of Carlisle will probably come too soon for Nish, who still looked a good couple of yards off the pace last night.
But Barron maintains an unscathed outing was always the main objective: “That’s what we wanted – Colin to get 90 minutes and we’re happy he got through it without any problems.”
Last night’s victory came courtesy of an Adam Boyd effort early in the second half. Barron commented: “It was enjoyable and we got out of it what we deserved.”
Nish’s partnership with Boyd was one of the big success stories of Pools’ club-record unbeaten start to the season. And Barron believes the pair should be aiming to reform that alliance at senior level.
“They were the front two during that great start,” he said. “That’s what they’ve got to get back to doing. They’ve got to knuckle down and try somehow to get in the team.”
Meanwhile, Pools will continue to monitor trialist Jamie Poole, the Consett defender, 24, who played the full match against Gateshead.