STEVE Howard appears to have played his last game for Hartlepool United after admitting frustration with the club’s “lack of resources”.
The 36-year-old, who last week joined Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday on loan, also says he returned to Victoria Park too soon in his career.
His words will not rest easily with either the club’s hierarchy or supporters.
Pools invested the bulk of their summer wage budget in the striker, bringing him back to the club where he made his league debut in 1995.
But a return of just three goals from 30 appearances contributed to the team’s slide towards the bottom of League One.
Howard had been without a goal since December when the interest from The Owls emerged, and Pools boss John Hughes offered no resistance to his exit.
And the Geordie-born frontman has now had his say on the past eight months at Clarence Road.
“It’s been a grind at Hartlepool, to be honest,” said Howard.
“The lack of resources and everything else was hard to take.
“It’s one of those situations where I’ve gone back and I’ve maybe gone back a bit soon.
“It hasn’t happened for them this season and this was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.
“I said to Dave Jones (Sheff Wed manager) I was going to enjoy myself and play with a smile on my face, which is something I haven’t done in a while.”
Howard still has a year to run on his deal with Pools, although Hughes has already intimated that he could remain at Hillsborough.
Either way, it appears likely his days at the Vic are now over.