Skipper Billy Paynter still has a big part to play at Hartlepool United this season, according to manager Craig Hignett.
The club captain has become a bit of a forgotten man in recent weeks, with the goalscoring form of Padraig Amond underlining the gaffer’s faith.
Podge is among the goals so Billy will have to be patient.
But Hignett admitted exclusively to the Mail that keeping Paynter out of the starting XI has been one of the toughest decisions he has had to make at since taking the reins at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.
He said: “It is tough for Bill and it is tough for me.
“He was the main man last year and he is great around the dressing room.
“There is no doubt that he is a good lad and a good pro.
“Podge is among the goals so Billy will have to be patient.
“He will get his chance this season.
“When he gets it he has to give me a headache.
“He needs to make it tough.”
Amond has netted three in his last three games for Pools, having taken some time to find his goalscoring boots.
Some Pools fans would rather see Paynter back in the team, but Hignett is in no doubt at all.
“I have had absolutely no issues at all with Podge - he works his socks off every game,” said Hignett.
“Even if he is not scoring he contributes to the team.
“He has been bang on the money in terms of scoring goals.
“I am pleased the goals are flowing for him.”