HONEST James Poole admits his biggest problem at Hartlepool United has been his consistency but said he is looking to repay the faith shown in him by Colin Cooper this season.
The 23-year-old forward has been deployed in the “hole” behind Luke James for much of the season, scoring four times in 28 appearances.
Poole had been in fine form during Pools’ run of six wins out of eight Sky Bet League Two matches back in October and November but then had a dip and was benched for recent matches against Cheltenham Town, Coventry and Chesterfield.
But he bounced back strongly, coming on as a first-half substitute against Chesterfield and then starting the 2-1 win over Morecambe on December 29, when at times he was unplayable.
Poole started up front behind James in the 3-0 New Year’s Day defeat to Bury and despite being one of the brighter performers, he admits he didn’t reach the high standards he set himself.
When asked whether he thought he’d overcome his consistency problems at Pools, the ex-Manchester City youth product said: “To a certain extent, but I want to be playing the best I can be playing every single week.
“Sometimes that is not possible, especially in the position I play and a lot of it can be dictated by the space you are allowed and also the space I can get myself in.
“But consistency has been, along with injuries, my biggest problem.
“All I have ever asked for is a run in the team and I am thankful to the gaffer for giving me that.
“I just want to repay him and my performance against Bury wasn’t up to the standard at Morecambe but I know what it takes to reach that level and I have to find that, if I am picked for the next match.”
But pacy Poole, who joined the club in the summer of 2011, said the team have to use the defeat to Bury as a learning curve and cannot let that become the “norm”.
The 23-year-old added: “It was a massive team effort against Chesterfield and a big team effort against Morecambe and it wasn’t for lack of effort, or desire against Bury, but for some reason it didn’t happen.
“Results like that happen at all levels.
“What we need to do, is not let it affect us but learn from it and become a better team from it.
“I don’t think anybody saw the Bury game coming, especially anyone that saw the game against Morecambe.
“But we have a young team and people’s individual performances will be up and down.
“What we can’t do is let this be common, it has to be a freak result.
“It can’t be a case of ‘here we go, they were good the other day and they’ll be bad today’.
“We can’t afford to do that.
“But I think we have the ability, mixed in with a little bit of experience, to not let that become the norm.”