Mikael Mandron must “grow up” quickly and adapt to the rigours of “men’s” football.
That was the blunt message from Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore for the on-loan Sunderland forward.
Moore is not ungrateful to the Black Cats and their manager, Sam Allardyce, for allowing the young prospect to come down the A19 to Victoria Park.
Mandron, who has been at the Premier League club for three years, has had a goodstart to the season for Sunderland’s U21 side.
But the Pools boss says the Frenchman must adapt to the rigours of League Two football – and fast.
“I think Mikael has found out how tough it is,” said Moore, who is desperate to make the striker a success.
“That Under 21 league is a boys league.
“This is a man’s game. I said to him that he’s had a rude awakening and he has to grow up.
“He’s not my player, he’s Sunderland’s, but while he’s with us he is my player.”
Mandron has been selected as the principal central strikerfor the last two matches after Moore returned to his early-season 4-3-3 system.
And the the manager had some sympathy for the ex-Le Havre forward at Salford in the second round tie which finished 1-1.
“I’m trying to get him to play that lone role,” said Moore.
“It is difficult, but we didn’t get support up there for him.”
Mandron was been brought in to fill the void left by Pools skipper Billy Paynter, who is out until February with Achilles trouble.