Four-goal Niko Muir reassures fans his best is yet to come - and the same goes for Hartlepool United

Niko Muir has three goals for Pools this season.
Niko Muir has three goals for Pools this season.

Niko Muir believes Poolies are yet to see the best of him as a player, or Hartlepool United as a team.

Pools have been beaten just twice in 14 games this season and sit eighth in the National League table.

Four-goal Muir says the best is yet to come from Matthew Bates’ side, as well as him as a striker.

Ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Boreham Wood, Muir said another fifth tier side is due a hammering from Pools.

“I don’t think the fans have seen us at our best,” he said.

“They have only seen glimpses.

“We are due to punish a team - we will put a team to sleep. It is due and it will come.

“For me as a player, I feel like I am getting better and better.

“All I have to do is make sure that I am training hard, keep doing what I am doing and it will all work out.

“I am learning new things about myself every day.”

Muir added his fourth goal of his maiden season in the fifth tier last weekend against Aldershot - and it was easily his best yet.

The striker delicately lobbed the Shots keeper to open the scoring in a game Pools would disappointingly surrender the lead later on.

Despite the quality of the finish, some doubters questioned whether he meant it, including teammate Liam Noble and manager Bates.

“Of course I meant it,” he said.

“Everyone keeps saying to me ‘it was a cross’, but I saw the keeper and put my left foot at it and lifted it over the top.

“When I watched it, he couldn’t get there and I knew it was a good finish.”

Despite this season so far turning out to be everything the player hoped for and more, Muir says the campaign has not been without regrets.

“We feel that we could have more points on the board,” he said.

“The season has been everything I thought it would be and more.

“The people at this club are great, the fans. Everything.

“But there are a couple of games where we could have turned draws into wins and losses into draws.

“All is positive. We know that we are going in the right direction as a team and as a football club. It is about maintaining that.

“In the squad we have a good balance. When there is time to banter, we do, but when it needs to get serious, we do that, too.

“When it comes to training and matches it is 100% focus.”

By anyone’s standards four goals in your first 14 games at a level you’ve not even been close to playing at would be good going.

Ambitious Muir is not totally happy with what he has achieved.

“I am sort of disappointed, I think I can score in every game that I play,” said the frontman.

“It is a question I can say yes and no to, really. I am concentrated on winning so if we are doing that and I am not scoring I am still happy.

“But if we are not winning I am not, no matter about the goals and assists.”

Even though the player is his own harshest critic, he says constructive criticism from some of the more experienced members of the Pools squad, including Noble and skipper Andrew Davies, is aiding his bid to become an even better player.

“They talk a lot,” he said of Noble and Davies.

“If you do a bad thing they encourage you to do better.

“You listen because they have been there and done that.

“It is good to have that experience, which is good. They just help us day-by-day.”

This time last season at Isthmian League Hendon, Muir was playing in front of crowds in the hundreds. Fast forward a few months and it’s not far off a thousand travelling Poolies driving him, and the team on.

The support of the fans has blown the forward away.

“It is good. Even away games a lot of fans come down,” said Muir.

“Halifax sticks in my mind. The Halifax fans were signing nothing but our fans never stopped for 90 minutes.

“It was like a 12th man - they drove us on.

“I have not seen fans like that first-hand. It is incredible.

“It is very special.”