2015 Great Escape hero 'forever grateful' to Hartlepool United - and backs Pools to get out of trouble

Jordan Hugill
Jordan Hugill

Jordan Hugill was one of the stars of Hartlepool United's 2015 Great Escape.

And the 24-year-old striker has thanked the club for giving him a platform to shine during his loan spell from Preston North End with the striker scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Exeter City at Victoria Park - a win that kept Pools up.

Ronnie Moore and his coaching team celebrate the Great Escape two years ago

Ronnie Moore and his coaching team celebrate the Great Escape two years ago

Pools, two points adrift of safety with two games to go, again find themselves fighting for their Football League status ahead of the trip to face relegation rivals Cheltenham Town.

Hugill says he has belief that the class of 2017 can pull off another escape under the guidance of caretaker boss Matthew Bates, club captain Billy Paynter, coach Stuart Parnaby and physio Ian Gallagher.

Middlesbrough-born Hugill, who scored four goals in eight games during his two-month loan stint in 2014-15, says he has everything crossed that they can get out of trouble again.

"This time two years ago, I was on loan at Hartlepool as they battled to stay in the Football League," Hugill told the Lancashire Evening Post.

"I scored a few goals in that loan spell and they managed to stay up with a bit of room to spare.

"Unfortunately, they are struggling again and it is not looking too good for them.

"For as long as I have watched football, Hartlepool have always been a Football League club and hopefully that can still be the case when the season finishes.

"It would be a real shame to see them go down but I have belief in the lads who are there.

"Hartlepool are a club 
who give players a chance - they might not be one of 
the big boys but if you ask a lot of players in the North East, they have been at Hartlepool at one time or another.

"The loan spell I had there gave me the platform to prove what I could do after coming back from the bad knee injury I had.

"I’ll be forever grateful for what Hartlepool did for me and it was nice to score those goals to help them.

"When we played them in the EFL Cup at the start of the season, they ran us 
close and looked a decent side.

"I’m not sure what has gone wrong there but fingers crossed they can get the points needed to stay up."

Hugill has scored 13 goals in 45 games for Preston North End this season after forcing his way into the first team over the last two seasons and becoming a key player for the Championship side.

Read his full exclusive column in the Lancashire Evening Post here: