JACK Compton’s brilliance may have gone a long way to saving Hartlepool United’s season – but he insists it should not signal the end of the season.
The 25-year-old fired in a spectacular equaliser in Monday’s dramatic bottom of the table clash before fellow Jack, Barmby, delivered the coolest of winners 10 minutes from time.
Pools are now as safe as houses with the surely-doomed Torquay, Northampton, Wycombe, Bristol Rovers, Exeter and Morecambe ‘contesting’ the bottom two places.
But while Pools are secure for next season, Compton insists there will be no switching off ahead of tomorrow’s visit to out-of-sorts Plymouth Argyle.
“I think we can go to Plymouth and play with a bit of a swagger and play the football we know we can,” said the gifted winger.
“We are not going to go there and be lackadaisical.
“I think we’ll go there and win the game.
“I want us to finish as high in the table as possible.
“Monday was fabulous but it has gone now, I’m sure the lads will be fully focused on Plymouth.
“Why can’t we go and finish the season with six points out of six?”
Monday’s win was some turnaround after the team’s depressing sequence of six straight losses, in particular the dire performance at Burton last Saturday, when Pools were given a good going over, 3-0.
It was all a far cry from just five weeks ago when Pools were just five points off the play-offs.
“We had been buzzing up there in the table but I think the season just caught up with us,” said the winger.
“But I think we’ll be bigger and stronger next season, definitely.”
But Pools found the passion and the style to beat the Shrimps in front of a raucous crowd.
And they were inspired by a player whose transformation was amazing.
He had looked more Jack Duckworth than Jack Compton but the much-travelled midfielder re-discovered his old sparkle.
He was full of praise for boss Colin Cooper who made him his first signing last July.
Life has not been easy for Jack. A proud dad, he has missed his daughter, who turns one on Sunday, and his partner who live in Cardiff.
“The gaffer said ‘go out and be yourself’, have no worries,” Compton told SportMail.
“I have had a bit of trouble believing in myself, so I just went out and said to myself ‘this is your day’.
“I’m just glad I got the ball at my feet and put it in the back of the net.
“When I play, I just want the ball.
“If I get the ball I will try to do something.
“I’m just so chuffed about Monday – it’s a day which will live with me for a long, long time.
“We’d owed our brilliant fans that for a long time.
“It was the same for the gaffer and I dedicated my goal to him.
“He has stuck with me through thick and thin – I should have been doing the business for him three or four months ago.
“I’ve had a few issues, being away from my family and stuff, but I’m trying to get my head around that.
“I’m just chuffed to bits with Monday – he deserved that.”
Compton’s strike may have been a sweet one, but the winner from Barmby was something else.
The teenager was first to the loose ball after Barry Roche saved a shot from Jonathan Franks.
Barmby could have shot first time but instead took his time before rolling his effort calmly into the net.
“If you see Barmbs in training, he’s so cool in front of goal,” said the older Jack.
“If you wanted anyone for that ball to drop to, it was him.”
Now bring on Plymouth lads.