Hartlepool United player watch: How did Jake Hastie fare in Walsall defeat
It’s fair to say Jake Hastie has been one of the 13 new arrivals at the Suit Direct Stadium this summer to have grabbed the attention of supporters.
The winger grabbed an eye-catching goal against Billingham Synthonia before delivering the cross which led to an own goal as Pools earned a draw against Championship side Sunderland.
“He’s an exciting player. He can go either side. He can create, he can score. It’s just about keeping the consistency levels up,” Hartley said following Hastie’s impact against the Black Cats.
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The Pools boss has also declared in the past the need for Hastie to feel ‘at home’ somewhere following his spell at Ibrox.
The hope is that home can be at the Suit Direct Stadium with Pools.
Hastie was one of eight debutants in Pools’ dispiriting 4-0 defeat at Walsall to begin the new season, but he was one of the few to have offered some flickers of hope.
Operating in the right-wing position, Hastie tested the Walsall backline on two occasions in the opening quarter to, once again, demonstrate his raw pace and ability on the counter-attack, including a clever nutmeg on Liam Kinsella.
Although both attempts were thwarted by the physical Donervon Daniels, there are perhaps signs, coupled with his endeavours throughout pre-season, that he will become an asset to Pools this season.
Like most however, Hastie was managed out of much of the game at the Poundland Bescot Stadium as Pools struggled to land a glove on the Saddlers.
The 23-year-old did come close to a consolation in the closing stages when wriggling free of the defence on the right and advancing into the area, only for goalkeeper Owen Evans to deny his low drive on goal.
“He hasn’t played a lot of football over the last year so it’s just about getting his confidence levels up. But we’ll give him that platform to go and produce,” Hartley recently said.
“He’s a good boy who works hard and wants to do well and that’s really important for us.
“He feels that he’s got another chance and that he’s got a good platform to do well here.”