MARLON Harewood has taken another significant step towards a return to the Hartlepool United starting XI.
The seasoned camapigner impressed as a sub at Cambridge on Saturday, where he led a second-half Pools revival which almost produced a debut point for new boss Paul Murray.
And Murray sent Harewood out in the number nine jersey last night at West Auckland in the Durham Challenge Cup.
The 35-year-old scored at Darlington Road and had three other good sights of goal as he gave a further demonstration of his experience and ability.
Just like in League Two on Saturday at the Abbey Stadium, Pools Reserves were undone by an 88th-minute winner as they lost 2-1 to the Ebac Northern League leaders.
But the performance of Harewood was certainly a plus point – he played 75 minutes and looks favourite to start in Saturday’s Sky Bwet League Two showdown with Newport County this Saturday at Victoria Park.
“Marlon’s not played much of late, so he needed game-time,” Murray told SportMail.
“I thought he did well on Saturday coming off the bench and last night I said to him at half-time ‘do you want to come off’.
“But he said he wanted to carry on and that showed a good attitude.
“He’s one of our senior players and he’s got to lead by example which he did.
“In the time I’ve been here his attitude has been brilliant and that’s all I can ask for.
“Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’s got to keep showing what he did on Saturday.
“He’s back in the fold and I want to see him do all this on a more consistent basis.”