Ex-Sunderland winger Luke Molyneux looking to kick-on after storming start to pre-season at Hartlepool United
Luke Molyneux continued his impressive start to pre-season with two high-quality strikes in the 6-0 win at Shildon on Saturday afternoon.
The 21-year-old, who signed for Hartlepool United permanently following his release from Sunderland, has three goals in 90 minutes of football so far.
All three strikes have enforced just how much of a coup bringing Molyneux back to the Super 6 Stadium could prove to be.
But while the early signs are promising, facing Northern League opposition is a far cry away from the National League as Molyneux looks to manage the expectation and pressure upon him.
“I think after last season, there’s always going to be pressure and expectation on me to play a certain way and make a difference in the side,” he said.
“The same goes for everyone no matter what and all you can do is deal with that and show the fans why you’re here and what you can do.”
The Black Cats’ academy graduate has certainly been showing what he’s capable of so far this pre-season having put in a man of the match display against his local side Shildon.
“I used to be friends (with Shildon) but I’m not sure if I’ll get invited back now after the two goals,” Molyneux laughed.
“I opened the stand here last year and it’s looking pretty decent, that’s all I can say!
“But I really enjoyed it, the weather was boiling as well and I felt quite tired at the start but once I got into the game it helped.
“The first goal was like an action replay of my goal on Tuesday. I think teams may start doing their homework and watching for me cutting inside so I’ll need to mix it up a bit.
“The second was tight with the short corner and I just wanted to get out of it so nutmegged the player and after that I just wanted to go straight for the goal, I didn’t really think about passing it at any point.
“Getting two goals on Saturday and one on Tuesday is massive for confidence, it’s about fitness in pre-season a but it’s also great for confidence going into the competitive season.”