COLIN Cooper has challenged winger Jack Compton to “toast” his opposite number as Hartlepool United look to end their League Two goal drought.
The summer signing produced his best performance yet during last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood Town.
Still, though, the 24-year-old is without a goal or an assist in five appearances for his new club.
Pools travel to Torquay United this weekend bidding to become the final Football League club to open their account for the campaign.
And Cooper believes pacey wideman Compton can be instrumental in sharpening Pools’ attacking edge.
“I’ve said to Jack in all of the time I’ve known him ‘you have to show the full-back what you have from the very start’,” said the Pools boss, who worked with Compton at Bradford City.
“I thought for half an hour last weekend he toasted the defender.
“That’s what you’ve got to do, get the advantage early on.
“If you do that then more often than not you’ll go on to have a good game.
“Jack has that ability, he can hurt defenders.
“He’s got pace and he’s got a trick.
“But it’s also about getting a run of games for him, getting his confidence going.
“I’m confident we’ll only see Jack get better and better – he can be a real threat for us.”
But with an improvement in Compton comes an expectation for others to capitalise on his deliveries.
On too many occasions against Fleetwood did his good work pass without score, and Cooper has urged his team-mates to take more chances inside the penalty area.
“Maybe we are trying for the perfect goal and not gambling in the box enough,” reflected Cooper on his side’s woes in front of goal.
“Big Stevie (Howard) does what he does and he had one saved and one cleared off the line last weekend.
“Everyone else has to gamble more and anticipate things – be that from a Stevie knock-down or a cross or pull-back from Jack.
“If we can work on that run and timing it right then we might find the answer.”