Ex-Manchester City player James Poole in Hartlepool United springboard

POOLE OF TALENT: James Poole in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

POOLE OF TALENT: James Poole in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

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JOHN Hughes believes James Poole can use his weekend goal as a “springboard” for the remainder of the season.

The 22-year-old striker profited from the injury to Steve Howard ahead of Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth, winning his first start in more than two months.

And Poole responded with a well-taken strike as Pools ran out 3-1 victors at the home of their basement rivals.

The former Manchester City trainee will keep his place in the side for this weekend’s visit of Notts County, and Hughes wants to see him build on his impressive showing at Fratton Park.

“It can be a springboard for Poolie,” the Pools chief told SportMail.

“There’s no doubt about his ability, technically he’s one of the best at the club.

“But there’s more to it than that.

“Sometimes you have to wear your heat on your sleeve and put the shift in.

“He did that on Saturday and I’m delighted for him, let’s see it again and again now.

“He got his goal and brought out a wonderful save from their keeper.

“He could have had a couple of goals and the one he did score was a brilliant finish, cool as you like.”

Poole had been turning out for the club’s reserves in recent weeks, although he will not be involved tomorrow when they welcome Rotherham United to Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace (kick off 2pm).

Micky Barron, however, could include Nathan Luscombe, Darren Holden, Luke James and weekend scorer Greg Rutherford in his side.

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