HARTLEPOOL United’s Jack Baldwin says he is enjoying helping defensive partner Christian Burgess get to grips with the “rough and tough” side of league football, writes Richard Mennear.
The impressive Burgess joined Pools in the summer on-loan until December from neighbours and Championship side Middlesbrough FC.
Burgess, who turned 22 this month, has just 15 career appearances to his name but he has taken to League Two football like a duck to water.
A calming presence at the back, he has forged a solid partnership with Baldwin, who at 20, has already clocked up 64 career appearances in three years at Pools.
Baldwin, who opened the scoring in the weekend 3-0 win at Exeter City, said the pair get on well both on and off the pitch which is helping their partnership to flourish.
Baldwin said: “I enjoy playing with Christian at the back and we are two young lads that are gelling well together.
“Off the pitch as well we have a laugh together and that helps us perform on the pitch.”
When asked if the on-loan star is learning the “rough side” of football at this level, Baldwin said that is one aspect of Burgess’s game that he feels he can help with.
Baldwin said: “This level does bring that side of it as well and I think that if there was one aspect that he was learning, it is probably that side of his game.
“He is brilliant with the ball at his feet and brilliant in the air. It is just that rough and
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tough side of things.
“I was used to it before and he has certainly dealt with it very well.”
Baldwin and Burgess both have one goal to their name this season, with goals against Exeter City and Bradford City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, respectively.
But Baldwin, whose three career goals for Pools have all come against teams from the south coast, says there is more to come from Colin Cooper’s first choice defensive pairing.
Pools take on Plymouth Argyle at Victoria Park on Saturday and Baldwin is hoping his good run of fortune against teams from down south continues.
He said: “There is definitely more to come.
“Burgess is a strong header in the opposition box as well as in defence and I like to think I can get in some good positions to get the fringe on it.
“My three goals at the minute are Exeter, Portsmouth and Bournemouth so hopefully Plymouth this week I can continue that.”