Ronnie Moore had no qualms about putting Lewis Hawkins into the Hartlepool United team for the big FA Cup third round tie against Derby County.
And the Pools boss will have no hesitation about using him in the same role against Wycombe Wanderers at Victoria Park this Saturday.
Moore had used Kal Naismith in that position in League Two although the on-loan Portsmouth winger was ineligible in the FA Cup, having come on as a sub in the first round for Pompey.
A big admirer of the Scot, Moore had hoped to persuade Portsmouth boss Paul Cook to let Naismith stay at the Vic for the remainder of the season.
However, the former Rangers player returned to Fratton Park, leaving a void in the Pools manager’s side and plans.
Moore not only recalled Hawkins from his loan stint at Spennymoor, but decided he would play as part of a front three with Scott Fenwick.
Despite being sent off for violent conduct for the Moors, the 22-year-old’s form in the Evo Stik Northern First Division were rewarded by his Pools gaffer.
Hawkins came in for only his second start of the season in a blue strip - his only previous appearance had been against Sheffield United in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy.
“He couldn’t get in the side and that’s why we sent him out on loan and said to him ‘You need to be playing’,” explained Moore.
“Hawks has gone away and done really well with Spennymoor.
“All the reports we’ve had, all the DVDs, all we’ve seen of him in training, he’s looked strong.
“I said to Sam [Collins] that I thought it was time we had a different wide right guy - a more disciplined one.
“We could have put Kudus [Oyenuga] or Rakish [Bingham] out there but would they be as disciplined in their approach against a side that drop their wingers in and bomb the full-backs on?
“The answer to that would have been no.
“That’s why Hawks played and he was fantastic.”
The midfielder was man of the match against the high-flying Rams, who progressed to a fourth-round tie against Manchester United.
And he looks set to play again on Saturday against a Wycombe side sixth in League Two and with their sights set on League One.
Hawkins, a player who has come through the ranks at Pools linked up superbly with another, Jordan Richards.
The right-back made a brilliant first start of the season and both gave Pools great attacking threat.
“Lewis did well out wide and Jordan put some great balls in as well,” said Moore. “If I’m a striker I want balls like that at the back post to attack.”
The arrival of Nathan Thomas from Mansfield Town in midweek for an undisclosed fee brings intense competition for those front three positions.
Thomas is unlikely to start against the Chairboys, unless he really dazzles in training today or tomorrow.
But the 21-year-old will certainly put Hawkins and Rhys Oates on their toes.