Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill thrilled to join Hartlepool United

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Jordan Hugill in action for Hartlepool United during their 2-1 home victory over Cambridge United Picture by FRANK REID
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Jordan Hugill in action for Hartlepool United during their 2-1 home victory over Cambridge United Picture by FRANK REID

JORDAN Hugill insists he would have joined Hartlepool United even if they were still nine-points adrift of safety.

But now he is here – and Pools have climbed out of the relegation zone – the on-loan Preston North End striker is keen to play his part and help finish the job of staying in the Football League.

It would be really disappointing for the whole of the North East if the club were to drop into the Conference

JORDAN HUGILL

Hugill was born down the A19 in Middlesbrough and says he is fully aware of how important it is to the North East that Pools remain in the league pyramid.

And the confident forward is looking forward to helping Pools achieve that goal.

Reflecting on his first week at Pools at a sun-kissed Maiden Castle, Hugill told SportMail: “I still would have come here, even if they were nine points away from safety.

“That wouldn’t have bothered me but I am here now and I want to get games and help Hartlepool stay up.

“That is the aim and I want to do well so I can press my claims at Preston North End and if I can do that by helping keep the club up, then even better.

“I have been injured recently and I want to finish off the season well and take that into pre-season with Preston.

“I am a local lad too, from Middlesbrough, and I know how important it is for this club to stay in the league.

“Since I have been a kid, Pools have always been a league team so it would be really disappointing for the whole of the North East if the club were to drop into the Conference.

“That is another reason why I wanted to come, to avoid that happening,” added Hugill, who played for Seaham Red Star, Consett, Whitby Town and Marske United before signing professionally with Port Vale in 2013.

Hugill spent a season with the Vale Park outfit before being snapped up by Preston North End in June 2014.

Working under Ronnie Moore was another reason Hugill was keen to join on loan until the end of the campaign.

“The manager chats to me, giving me little tips,” added Hugill ahead of today’s trip to Newport County.

“Obviously, he played as a striker during his playing career so that can only help me and it just nice being in a positive environment, playing in a side that is winning football matches and long may that continue.”

That atmosphere was boosted by the Cambridge United win, the first time since October 2013 that a Pools side had managed four straight wins in the league.

Wins breed confidence and the former Tranmere Rovers loanee is relishing his time at the club.

“I have only been here a week but there is a great atmosphere,” added Hugill.

“Everyone is working really hard because we all want to be part of the run-in.

“We just want to keep the run going, the lads are really positive and that is showing on the pitch.

“Two wins over Easter would set us up nicely for the rest of the season and hopefully we can get as close to that as possible.”

Hugill joined on the final day of the emergency loan window and was in from the start against Cambridge, impressing on his debut alongside Jonathan Franks.

He led the line well and should have been celebrating his first goal in a blue and white shirt.

Replays showed Hugill knocked Brad Walker’s header into the net on the line but the goal officially went to the Billingham teenager.

Hugill added: “I did try to claim it but the problem was everyone was already running away celebrating with Brad!

“If I had ran off on my own then I would have looked like a right idiot.

“But I was happy with my performance and it showed what I am all about – I give everything and am not afraid of putting a foot in or making a tackle.

“I will bash defenders about and get into the box and get in positions where I can score – that is why I am here after all, to score.

“It suited me playing alongside Franksy, he is technically very good and gets in those little pockets of space. I think we work well together.”