Hartlepool United v Bristol Rovers: Pools can move up says Brad Walker

Brad Walker celebrates his winning goal for Hartlepool United during their 2-1 away victory over Yeovil Town. Picture by Pinnacle Photo Agency
Brad Walker celebrates his winning goal for Hartlepool United during their 2-1 away victory over Yeovil Town. Picture by Pinnacle Photo Agency
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Brad Walker believes Hartlepool United are on the up again – and is looking to make it a successful week at Victoria Park.

Pools host Bristol Rovers at Victoria Park tonight with confidence high after the 2-1 win at Yeovil Town, courtesy of Walker’s coolly-taken 83rd-minute winner.

Hopefully a couple of wins can lift us up there

BRAD WALKER

This evening’s match against Darrell Clarke’s Pirates is a crucial first fixture in back-to-back home games, with Luton Town coming to the Vic on Saturday.

Pools are up to 11th following Walker’s late heroics which ended a run of four matches without a victory.

“It’s great to be back home now, the Vic is always good for us,” said the midfielder.

“When you are at home you can get at teams more.

“Hopefully a couple of wins can lift us up there. People have been saying we’ve not been performing well, but the last few displays I think have been brilliant, but it’s been a case of things not falling for us.

“At Yeovil, things have fallen for us and now we can kick on.”

Walker will be a key man.

In his two late cameos against Cambridge and Yeovil, he has made a real impact and now he has an opportunity to do it from the first whistle.

He will come in for Michael Woods, who serves a one-match suspension after being booked at Huish Park.

Walker admits the opportunity is there for him to stake his claim for a regular starting spot.

“Definitely,” said the 19-year-old.

“It won’t be easy, there are no easy games in League Two.

“But if I get put in the team, it’s up to me to perform to keep my place.”

Walker has looked a threat in the attacking areas in both brief appearances on the last two Saturdays.

And he admits getting goals will be a key function for him to carry out.

The Billingham-born player has netted eight times in 66 appearances for Pools.

“I scored a couple of goals last season and I think I can offer a bit more going forward because I think I can score goals,” he said.

“In the last few games when we’ve not scored I’ve been on the bench and I’ve been desperate to get on and have a go.

“I think I will always get into situations where I can score goals, then it’s a case of whether I take them or not

“Thankfully I’ve got one now and hopefully it’s nudged the gaffer in the back to play me [tonight.”

Pools boss Ronnie Moore had what he described as a “heart to heart” with Walker in the build up to the trip to Yeovil.

It seemed to bear immediate fruit and the player explained he listened and is keen to improve.

“Me and the gaffer had a good chat,” he said.

“Basically told me I needed to learn more about the game and get to understand it more.

“You have to listen to it, take it on the chin and get on with it, practice and practice and make sure I can show him what I can do.”