JOHN Hughes has challenged his rookie forward line to take their game to the next level – warning tonight’s opponents Crewe Alexandra “the best is yet to come”.
James Poole, Jonathan Franks and Charlie Wyke won rave reviews in the wake of their devastating showing during Saturday’s 2-1 win at Scunthorpe United.
Wyke assisted Poole for the opener while Franks netted a breathtaking second.
The trio have started the last six matches together – during which time Pools are unbeaten – and will again be let loose when The Railwaymen come to Victoria Park this evening (kick off 7.45pm).
But Hughes believes there is still more to come from his young triumvirate, as he told SportMail today: “They are still young boys learning their trade and they’ll get better, I’ve no doubt about that.
“They have the ability, now they have to get the mindset to take their game up a notch.
“The best is definitely still to come from them but they have to want it.
“It’s all about mindset.
“You have to believe in yourself no matter what.
“I’m talking about having a heart the size of a lion and having that desire.
“I still think they can dip into that mindset a little bit more and become better players for it.”
Hughes applauded his scorers following their exploits at Glanford Park but he has urged them not to rest on that praise.
“Poolie could have had a double on Saturday and you need that belief to think ‘one goal is not enough’ – you can’t accept scoring one, go and get another,” the Pools chief continued.
“The top strikers have that ruthless streak to go and get two, three goals.
“And that’s what I’ll say to them, ‘okay, you’ve scored one, now go on a run’.”
Wyke, the 20-year-old Middlesbrough loanee, forms the spearhead of the front unit, while Franks and Poole are afforded freedom to populate the areas around the target-man.
And Hughes said: “Franksy and Poolie don’t play as out-and-out wingers but still cause teams real problems in those wide areas.
“They have a real energy and ability to get at players.
“Charlie is doing brilliantly in that forward role as well, he’s getting better with every game.”