Liam Noble reveals his Hartlepool United goal target
Liam Noble has set his sights on netting 10-15 goals for promotion-chasing Hartlepool United this season.
The midfielder leads the way this season with five goals in his 10 games to date. He has also chipped in with a further four assists.
Noble was Pools’ matchwinner on Saturday as Matthew Bates’ men ran out 1-0 winners at Solihull Moors to remain three points off the top of the National League table.
And he hopes to continue his rich vein of form.
“The target for me, for any midfielder, is always to get 10 to 15 goals in a season,” said Noble.
“It’s five goals and I think for assists for me now, so it is a brilliant start. But that is all it is - a start.
“It has been a pleasure to captain the team when Dava (Andrew Davies) has been out. I wouldn’t ask for a better squad.
“I think the gaffer has said that as well. He says he wouldn’t swap our squad with any in the league.
“And when you think of budgets it is amazing because I would say we are mid to bottom half in that sense.
“Budgets are one thing, though, and what happens on the pitch another thing altogether.”
It was apparent in pre-season and has become even more so since the real ball has come out - Noble and Nicky Featherstone seem to dovetail perfectly in the centre of Pools’ midfield.
Evidence came on Saturday when Featherstone had one of his best games ever in blue and white, alongside top-scorer and talisman Noble.
Noble has been blown away by what Featherstone can produce with the ball at his feet. He’s not a massive fan of what comes out of his mouth, though.
“I can’t comment on what Nicky was like before this season - I can only comment on what I have seen this season,” said Noble.
“Since I have walked through the door he has been outstanding.
“He plays just behind me, always shows for the ball and that’s what you want.
“He is whingey like. We all like an argument, though. If he is whingey and we get performances like last weekend out of him every week no one will be complaining.”
Assessing the weekend win, ahead of this Saturday’s test against lowly Eastleigh, Noble admits Pools’ ability to remain calm in games is starting to pay dividends.
“It is sometimes harder to break teams down when they have 10 men,” said Noble.
“I think we had to be patient. The manager gave us a kick up the bum and then in the second half we had about 85% possession.
“We all had chances to make the score two or three but we didn’t take them. And it is for that reason we had to switched on at the back - all it takes is a second for things to change, as we know.
“But we prevented them from having any chances. Credit to the back three for that.”