HARTLEPOOL United may have produced their best football of the season last time out.
But the quality of their attacking performance against Carlisle United has not stopped Michael Barron from calling on the club’s youngest players to up their game.
Barron is the right-hand man to coach Neale Cooper and he wants to see his young charges put the pressure on the first-team coach’s selection process.
“They need to improve quickly to push the first-team players,” said Barron in the aftermath of yesterday’s 2-1 reserves defeat at Oldham Athletic.
“On that, it’s hard to pick out any of the younger lads who you would say are going to be anywhere the first team.
“They should be looking to impress the manager.
“We had a good 20 minutes yesterday and there were some decent bits of the game. But no-one did it over 90 minutes when you might have said ‘he deserves to step up’.
“The younger lads should be looking to grasp these chances and say to the manager ‘I can come and play in the first team’.”
Ritchie Humphreys netted the Pools goal in Lancashire, where teenage striker Luke James climed an assist and another first-team man, Simon Walton, went close.
All three will be involved in Saturday’s League One trip to Bournemouth, where Pools will be looking to bounce back from the unlucky defeat at home to Carlisle.
And Barron (pictured) believes Pools can build on the “best 70 minutes we’ve played for some time”.
He told SportMail: “Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve and even Carlisle admitted they were lucky to get anything.