Dave Challinor backs former Newcastle United defender Jamie Sterry to keep improving at Hartlepool United
It goes without saying but Jamie Sterry has made an impressive start to life at Hartlepool United.
Since the right-back’s arrival, Pools have picked up 25 points out of a possible 33 available in the National League as the side have shot into promotion contention.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Barnet saw Sterry named man of the match and handed a £200 cheque to donate to a charity of his choice.
The Pools defender played a key role in the decisive goal at Victoria Park as he slid the ball to Mark Shelton who in turn found Luke Armstrong to slam home at the front post.
Sterry is contracted until the end of the season at Pools with manager Dave Challinor open in admitting the 25-year-old should be playing higher than National League level.
But Sterry already has 10 matches under his belt at Hartlepool which is significant considering he only made 29 competitive league appearances in the EFL and Premier League before leaving Newcastle United last summer.
“Jamie has played no football and he will only get better with games,” Challinor said.
“He’s in an environment where he should be playing higher than this but he needs to be playing and that’s the be all and end all of it.
"The position he’s in now allows him to showcase what his talents are in terms of his quality going forward.
"Defensively he’s really, really good and never gets done one v one, he’s quick off the mark, he’s tenacious and has a bit of a swagger and a bit of arrogance about him.
"He’s a different character to what Luke [Armstrong] is but he’ll get better and better and will benefit from that and we’ll benefit from that.
"It’s the first time in a long time that he’s had a good run of games, probably for the first time in three or four years with him not having played that amount of competitive football.
"At Newcastle he was a constant in their squad in the Premier League but was never really in the squad because he was the 20th man and didn’t get a lot of football as a result.”