HONEST Jack Compton admits he “didn’t handle himself” well when he was dropped earlier in the season.
But he has bounced back well and the winger believes his hard work off the pitch is helping Hartlepool United reap the rewards on it.
Compton played a key role in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town at Victoria Park, setting up goals for both Charlie Wyke and Brad Walker.
The pacy 26-year-old looked creative, direct and inventive with the ball. Everything you want from a winger and it was more like the Jack Compton Pools fans want to see.
But it was only Compton’s second start of the season – after being named on the bench for the previous three – and was dropped altogether for the home defeat to Bury.
After the Shakers clash, Cooper said Compton hadn’t done enough in training to warrant inclusion while he also questioned his attitude after being dropped to the bench for the 6-2 Capital One Cup defeat at Port Vale.
By his own admission, Compton didn’t deal well with being dropped after the opening day defeat to Stevenage.
But he insists he has learned from the episode.
Compton told SportMail: “I know what I can do and the gaffer knows what I can do.
“Like the gaffer said, I didn’t handle myself well when I got dropped and that is something I can learn from.
“I have learned from it and got my head down, and am working hard and by working hard off the pitch I have reaped the rewards on it.
“I have definitely put myself out there but it is up to the manager what he thinks is the best team to beat Tranmere.
“But I would hope to be in the squad and repeat my performance again.”
Compton is expected to be named in Colin Cooper’s starting line-up for the home match with Tranmere Rovers.
And, if selected, the winger is expecting a “really tough match”.
Compton added: “They are very direct and I think the game will be a bit like the Shrewsbury one.
“But if we play like we know we can play and get the ball wide and get shots off then we definitely have a good chance of winning.”
Confidence levels are certainly high in the Pools camp after the 2-0 win over Shrewsbury and Compton enjoyed playing his part in the win at a bouncing Victoria Park.
He played in on-loan Middlesbrough striker Wyke for the first before a well-worked team goal ended with Compton crossing to the on-rushing Walker, who’d run the best part of 60 yards.
Compton told SportMail: “We thoroughly deserved the win last weekend.
“Once the first goal went in we relaxed a little bit and we became more creative.
“We were all just glad to get the win and to get a ton of bricks of all our backs because we felt the pressure going into the game.
“That’s football and if you lose a couple of game then you are going to feel the pressure but it is only the start of the season.
“It was just great to get the win.
“For the second goal, I thought it was Charlie at first when I put my pass in but I was just glad Brad got on the end of it.
“That second goal just killed them off.”
- RICHARD MENNEAR