Liam Noble, Jake Cassidy, Carl Magnay - The trio who hold the key to Hartlepool United's National League destiny

Hartlepool United's season seems to be without purpose after their early FA Trophy exit to AFC Telford last weekend.

Tuesday, 15th January 2019, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 6:38 pm
Hartlepool's Liam Noble scores a penalty earlier this season - one of EIGHT he's netted since the summer. (via Shutterpress)

Nine points separate themselves and the National League's bottom four, while 11 is the gap to seventh spot - the last promotion play off place, currently occupied by Saturday's opponents Harrogate Town.

Pools have changed manager, changed plenty of players and owners in what has been a turbulent 12 months at Victoria Park - but there's something remarkably similar when comparing results, and the club's league position, to this time last year.

Hartlepool United manager Richard Money, whose side take on Harrogate Town on Saturday. (via Shutterpress)

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Richard Money has refused to give up hope of a late charge towards the fifth tier top 10. In order to do that, though, Pools need a spark from somewhere.

Reinforcements are needed at the club, with Money keen to add another four players on loan between now and the end of the January transfer window.

But could the key to Pools' success already lie within their own squad?

Here our writer Liam Kennedy takes a look at THREE players who combined have the power to turn around Pools' fortunes.

Striker Jake Cassidy has scored one goal in one game since his return from a loan spell at Maidstone United. (via Shutterpress)

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When Noble scored his 12th goal of the season, he went into the top five of the National League's goalscoring charts. No mean feat for a midfielder.

Noble had an influential start to the season and it is no surprise to see that when the ex-Sunderland trainee had his best run of form, Pools flew up the division.

Carl Magnay was named Hartlepool club captain last week, after the departure of former skipper Andrew Davies. (via Shutterpress)

You'll struggle to find a cooler penalty taker in the division, and he has the vision to unlock any defence.

His absence will be felt at Pools over the next month, even though he has had his critics (harsh) from the Super 6 Stadium terraces.

Pools' top-scorer and top creator in a difficult campaign for his team. It's a wonder just how good he would be in an attack-minded team with confidence flowing.

Getting Noble firing on all cylinders and finding players who the 27-year-old can pick out in the forward areas is imperative for Money between now and the end of 2018/19.

JAKE CASSIDYFormer manager Matthew Bates made some really good decisions while he was manager at Pools but probably the most baffling was in relation to striker Cassidy.

One of his first decisions made in the summer was transfer list the Welsh frontman.

At the time it was claimed Pools were happy to keep him, but were exploring the possibility of making money off their player. Bates' actions in the first weeks of the season made a mockery of that theory, however much they wanted it to be believed.

Cassidy was the first casualty after a troubled first few weeks of the season - a move which even saw him banished from the bench, despite a goalscoring start to the campaign.

Goals are not his forte. Physicality, holding the ball up, being a nuisance in the air, certainly are.

Last season was no fair reflection on Cassidy, who was rushed back in the second half of the campaign from injury, due to Pools' lack of players.

His return has the power to provide the focal point Money and Pools crave.


Look around the Pools team at the moment and it's devoid of leaders. Where are the talkers, the battlers, the never-say-die lot?

While Magnay has his faults as a player, of which he readily admits himself, he is certainly an individual that never stops barking out the orders, and never hides when the chips are down.

That was something levelled at him last season, when he last at the armband, but seems a thing of the past, in what has probably been his most consistent season as a Pools player.

His leadership will be crucial, so too his defensive experience, whether in the centre of a youthful back four, or shielding them just in front.