Josh Laurent: Hartlepool United has become like a second home to me
Josh Laurent is loving life at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium this season.
And that’s why it was a “no brainer” for the Hartlepool United midfielder to sign new two and a half year deal at the club.
Laurent has become an integral part of Craig Hignett’s starting XI this season.
His ability to ghost into space, burst into the box and offer an attacking threat from the centre of midfield has proved invaluable for Pools in recent weeks.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
Rewind the clock back just a few months to the summer and Laurent was very much a player on the fringes at Pools.
Having signed in the closing stages of the January window the 21-year-old found games hard to come by.
The former Brentford man also found the move away from his family a difficult transition.
But Laurent says the manager, the chairman and everyone at the club has made the Vic feel like a second home to him.
And as a result it was no hard decision to put pen to paper on a deal until the summer of 2019.
“It was a no brainer to sign it,” he said.
“This club have been good to me.
“I was always wanting to sign a new deal with this club. I would have been silly not to do it.
“It was quite sudden to be honest.
“Gary (Coxall) told me we needed to talk and then it was pretty much done.
“My aim at the start of the season was to get in the team and get secure my future here.
“Now the challenge is to repay the faith and prove to everyone why I got a new deal.”
Recalling the nature of his switch north and his rise to the first-team picture, Laurent says the new deal is not the only thing that has been quite swift.
“I knew my time at Brentford was finished,” he said.
“I remember the way it happened. I got a phone call off my Dad he said ‘this is happening’. I didn’t think any other way. I had to do it.
“It was a big decision to move away from my family but it has paid off in a footballing sense.”
Manager Craig Hignett has been full of praise for Laurent in recent weeks, as well as his harshest critic, as all managers must.
The gaffer has, on numerous occasions, lauded the performances of his energetic youngster, even claiming he was a Premier League player in the making at one point.
But this is a two way street. Laurent believes Hignett has been the perfect influence. And he says he has guided his career, so far, expertly.
“All I had to do was be patient. They have played it right with me,” said Laurent.
“And all I can do is thank them for that.
“It has been a real quick process. I wasn’t in the team then all of a sudden I am in and a regular.
“It has been a bit crazy but I am really enjoying it.
“The club has really grown on me. I love it here.”
On the gaffer’s praise of his performances, Laurent, who is expected to be in the starting XI at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow v Doncaster, is flattered.
“It is lovely to hear,” he said.
“The gaffer, the chairman, everyone at this club has a lot of belief in me.
“There is nothing better than knowing I have that backing.
“All I can do is try to improve and get better.”