PETER Hartley looks set to retain the Hartlepool United captaincy on a permanent basis.
Caretaker boss Micky Barron believes the 24-year-old could wear the armband for “the foreseeable future” at Victoria Park.
Hartley (left) led Pools during Wednesday night’s 2-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers, even though usual skipper Sam Collins had also started the game.
And Barron has today told SportMail the reason behind his decision to award the responsibility to Hartley under his charge.
“It’s difficult to keep chopping and changing the captain,” said Barron, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Yeovil Town. (kick off 3pm).
“Peter is a leader amongst the lads.
“On the training pitch and around the place he is good with the majority of the lads.
“That’s not to say Sam isn’t, I just think with Peter he’s someone who can do it for the foreseeable future.
“Sam didn’t have a problem with it and I thought he played well.”
The Pools-born centre-back was first given the captaincy under Neale Cooper after Collins was dropped.
Barron, though, accepts that Hartley himself must address the standard of his own performance and strive to recapture the form which saw him land the player-of-the-season prize.
“Without a doubt Peter’s form has been affected this season,” said Barron, in light of the start which sees Pools rock bottom of the table and eight points from safety.
“It’s hard when you’re a defender and you keep conceding goals.
“People keep pointing the finger at you and at times that’s right, at times it’s not.
“It’s one of those situations where you can’t take everyone out of the team whose form has dipped.
“Some players handle it better than others.
“Peter just has to be strong and play his way through the dip in form.
“We have to keep persevering and telling him that we believe in him.”
It was Hartley’s mistimed challenge which gifted Tranmere the opening goal from the penalty spot during the week.
And Barron went on: “For the majority of the game he played very well but then made the mistake.
“But there will be no one more down than Peter after the game.
“He has given away the penalty which led to them winning the game.
“He will bounce back though, he’s a good character and a very good player.”