He may have made a dog’s dinner of defence in recent matches, but Pools’ ‘happy, smiling’ matchwinner Louis Laing has been compared to a loveable Labrador!
Laing got the only goal of the game in Hartlepool United’s 1-0 victory over in-form Leyton Orient, getting on the end of a Michael Woods free-kick and looping his header over the Orient keeper.
Two high-profile errors had left Laing under pressure for the remaining games of the season.
But goalkeeper Scott Loach has nothing but praise for the likeable Laing, believing his mid-week performance will help the 25-year old.
Loach said: “Louis is one of those lads, he reminds me of a Labrador.
“He’s such a nice lad, you want him to do so well, he keeps coming into the changing room smiling and I’m really pleased for him.
“So, hopefully, now he can smile and relax a bit, cement his place and kick on improving next season.”
Loach knows Laing ability first hand having played alongside hime at previous clubs.
He said: “I’ve been at Notts County with him and I remember being at Ipswich when he came on trial as a kid, and he’s always been a good, good player.”
The 30-year-old keeper’ also believes that Laing’s performances this season have shown glimpses of what the defender is capable of.
“For whatever reason, it’s been up and down for him this season.
“When he has played well, you can see the player in him, so if we can get that out of him more often, with the size of him, he’s a threat in both boxes.”
The ex-Watford stopper also praised new goalkeeper coach Ross Turnbull and club captain Carl Magnay following the wmidweek home win which sealed Pools’ safety in the National League.
“Ross has given me a bit more confidence, I’m not a nervous guy but he has new ideas and he has got me to approach the game differently.
“Mags has been a completely different player at centre-half, he’s so experienced that he reads the game so well. He was outstanding tonight.”
Loach noted that despite Pools’ floating around the relegation picture since January, they hardly fell into the bottom four.
“I think it’s a credit to ourselves that we’ve never dropped down in there, except for the first 20
minutes or so of the Barrow game.
“I think we showed good character, I think basically just
“I think a few months ago, we lose that game, we’ve got the determination to see out games, that’s changed and it’s been good for us.”