Poole cues up striking Hartlepool improvement

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Hartlepool United striker James Poole says there was no bigger critic than himself during the first goal drought of his fledgling career, writes Craig Hope.

A nine-match barren spell was brought to an end on Boxing Day when the 21-year-old fired the only goal in Pools’ League One victory at Oldham

That strike, as well as the win – a first in five attempts for Pools – was met with relief by Poole, who had started to ask questions of his own contribution during a two-month spell without a goal.

“Every striker wants to be scoring goals because you know that is what you’re judged by – by fans, your team-mates and even yourself,” he admitted.

“You can’t explain how frustrating it is when you’re not scoring – it’s awful. That’s my job and that’s why I’m in the team.

“You can play as well as you like, but if the team doesn’t score then you don’t win. I’m very critical of myself and I’ll say if I’m not doing as well as I should be.

“You can’t shy away from that but you’ve got to keep on putting yourself in those positions. I know I’ve got the ability to score goals, I’ve shown that, and you can’t lose belief in yourself.

“I know a scoring run is going to come and hopefully now it will. I’ve got six and I want to be top scorer this season – that would be brilliant in my first full year here.”