Hartlepool United striker Joe Grey says regular football has been the key to the most prolific season of his career to date

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Versatile Hartlepool United striker Joe Grey feels regular starts have been key to helping him find his shooting boots this season.

The 20-year-old scored his 12th goal of a career best campaign in Saturday's draw with Dagenham & Redbridge and has become one of the first names on the teamsheet since Kevin Phillips took over in January.

A staggering 63 of Grey's 115 appearances in blue and white have come from the bench but most of his starts have come this season, with both John Askey and Phillips putting faith in the frontman.

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Grey, who is capable of playing anywhere across the front line but has mostly been deployed from the right under Phillips, has scored six goals in his last 12 games.

The in-form frontman notched his 12th goal of the season on Saturday.The in-form frontman notched his 12th goal of the season on Saturday.
The in-form frontman notched his 12th goal of the season on Saturday.

The youngster has always shown plenty of promise but it hasn't been until the last few months that he's started to fully realise his potential.

Full of pace, intent and a willingness to run in behind, the attacker has helped lighten the load on the talismanic Mani Dieseruvwe and, with another year still to run on his contract, could prove an important player for Pools again next term.

And Grey admits that regular football has been the secret to the most successful season of his career.

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"I've had a really good season compared to last season," he said.

"Last season was a bad season for everyone, but I wasn't playing.

"I came in this season and both managers have given me a run of games, and hopefully I've shown them what I can do now.

"I'm getting a run of games. It's hard for a player to come in and then out, to have to make an impact in 10 or 15 minutes off the bench.

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"I've been given a run of games and it's given me a lot of confidence.

"I had a little bit of a blip last season but I always knew that, if I got my chance, I was good enough to play in this league and the league above."

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