Craig Hignett admitted that Hartlepool United could find it hard to keep match-winner Nathan Thomas at the club.
Hignett denied there had been any “concrete” offers for the 21-year-old, who scored both goals in Saturday’s smash and grab 2-1 victory at Yeovil Town.
He can certainly play higher, there’s no doubt about it, I’m delighted to have kept him in the transfer windowCRAIG HIGNETT
But the Pools boss expects it to be a different story during the January transfer window.
Thomas’s pace and cool head got him his first at Huish Park, but his winner in the second minute of stoppage time was a 20-yard beauty from the right-side of the box.
“Nathan can certainly play higher, there’s no doubt about it,” said Hignett. “I’m delighted to have kept him in the transfer window.
“I’m sure we’ll be fending people off in January.”
SPL new boys Rangers were one of the clubs who had an eye on Thomas but more goals like Saturday’s stunner will see the queue grow.
“That’s why [clubs are interested] , he does that to people on a regular basis,” Hignett told SportMail.
“There were a lot of inquiries about Nathan, nothing concrete or nothing he fancied.
“He’ll carry on playing well, that’s three goals in two games for him so he’s up and running.
“There will be people coming in for him in January, I’m sure of that, it’s up to us to do what’s right for Nathan and what’s right for the club.
“He can be frustrating at times but wingers sometimes are, but he’s always capable of producing what he did [on Saturday].”
Pools were seemingly on course for a hard-earned point when Thomas took aim with his left foot in the second of four added minutes.
Hignett said he knew it was in as soon as it left his boot, keeper Artur Krysiak getting nowhere near it.
“I was right behind it, you could see it bending in, the keeper had no chance,” said the manager.
“That goal would have graced any pitch and any standard.”
If the winner was a goal of the season contender, Thomas had earlier brought Pools level via the route-one book.
Keeper Trevor Carson was the man with the assist, the former Sunderland winger dashing clear from his clearance as he out-paced marker Liam Shephard and chasing left-back Matt Butcher.
“We’d spotted it in the first half, so we told Trevor if he made a catch from a corner to hit the ball into space,” said Hignett.
“Nathan is so quick he could catch pigeons, no-one could keep up with him and that’s exactly what happened.
“It was a misjudgment on their behalf but once Nathan’s away they are not going to catch him.
“It was a really good finish because he had a lot of time to think about it.
“It got us back into it and as we pushed on they got a bit fragile, I thought we looked the team who’d nick it and thanks to Nathan that’s what happened.”