James Martin hopes Pools can clinch safety with time to spare

James Martin
James Martin
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James Martin hopes Hartlepool can earn Football League safety with time to spare after their recent upswing in fortunes.

The teenage defender will be aware that should the Victoria Park side achieve safety with some comfort, there might be opportunities for some of the club’’s younger players in the final few games of the campaign.

But he says from his own viewpoint it is just good to be part of a happy and successful squad and he wants that to continue.

“The last month or so has been great – starting with the back-to-back home wins over Crewe and Exeter,” the youngster, who could be on the bench today, said.

“That was the first time we’ve had back-to-back wins all season and it made such a difference to the mood around the place.

“It was great and we’ve kept picking up points since then which keeps the momentum going and everyone feeling good.

“That’s what you want, when you’re a young footballer especially, and it would be great if we could keep this decent run going because the last thing you want is to be going into the last few weeks of the season worrying about the bottom of the table.”

The 18-year-old full-back has played half a dozen times for Hartlepool this season but it wasn’t until his fourth game, against Accrington at home in November, that he tasted victory.

“It’s very important for your confidence, when you’re starting off, to get a win under your belt,” he admitted.

“That’s why I’ve been enjoying it so much lately – even though I’ve been on the bench, I’ve still felt very much part of the squad and you know you could come on at any moment.”

Washington-born Martin was speaking alongside former Hartlepool manager Martin Scott at the launch of Scott’s new Improtech Soccer Elite Academy at English Martyrs School in the town.

James and Hartlepool team-mate Kenton Richardson are Improtech graduates and he says he benefited as a youngster from the UEFA Pro Licence quality training.

He said: “I’ve worked under Scotty and Improtech for years and they were a massive influence on me.

“As well as developing the technical stuff, which was so important, you’d also come home after the training buzzing and loving it.

“Having an Improtech in Hartlepool will be an asset for the town.”