Ronnie Moore believes new boy Jake Carroll can grab up to 10 goals this season - once he gets out of “cruise control”.
Carroll is one of 10 new faces to arrive at Victoria Park, and was signed after being released by Huddersfield United.
The 23-year-old has looked dangerous going forward during the pre-season programme, finding the back of the net against Billingham Town, Dunston UTS and Spennymoor Town.
He was quieter in the final game of pre-season, the 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield.
But Moore has backed him to hit the goal trail this season - provided he believes in himself as much as his new manager does.
Moore, who has hailed Carroll’s natural abilities, said: “Jake is a good player.
“I’ve said to him that he needs to show people what he has got. We know he’s got tremendous ability and tremendous pace.
“He got in some terrific positions against Dunston and his goal was a fantastic finish.
“He can end up getting up to 10 goals this season if he just believes in himself a bit more.”
Pools will start the new League Two season at home to Morecambe on Saturday with a 3-5-2 system, with Carroll bombing down the left flank.
The wing-back has much more to give though, insists Moore.
He added: “We have still not seen the best out of Jake Carroll yet.
“There is much more to come from him, he is in cruise control at the moment.”
London-born Carroll was brought up near Dublin where he made his name with St Patrick’s Athletic for whom he gained experience in the Europa League in 2012 before joining Huddersfield.
The Hartlepool defence had looked disorganised in pre-season with nine goals conceded in the defeats to Scunthorpe United and Gateshead,.
But a clean sheet against Dunston UTS got them back on track.
It was a vastly improved defensive performance in the narrow defeat to League One Chesterfield, with Moore pleased to see the work on the training ground coming to fruition on the pitch.
Fellow summer signing Carl Magnay had started the pre-season programme at right wing-back but has been moved to a holding midfield role for the past two matches.
And he impressed, breaking up play to good affect, ahead of the new season.
Moore has been pleased with Magnay’s performance in central midfield.
He added: “Carl can play anywhere we want him to play.
“He’s done a good holding job in there, and he allowed the other two midfielders to get forward.”