MARLON Harewood was thrown in the deep end when he arrived at Hartlepool United.
Now the striker feels he is starting to find his stroke as the League Two season comes alive.
Harewood was snapped up by Colin Cooper last month after the 34-year-old was released by Bristol City.
The former Nottingham Forest and West Ham striker had been taken to Ashton Gate by Sean O’Driscoll, but new manager Steve Cotterill deemed him surplus to requirements.
Cooper, one of the stars of the Forest side when Harewood emerged as one of their hot prospects, acted quickly to sign the former Premier League forward.
Given Harewood only featured as an unused sub once for Cotterill – on December 8 – he was significantly shy of match sharpness when he arrived at Victoria Park.
His combination up front with Luke James looks highly promising with the pair gelling successfully.
Harewood looked good at Southend United and he seems to be finding his feet.
“I was pleased with my performance on Tuesday,” he told SportMail.
“It’s about getting fit and the more games I play the better I will be for it.
“The gaffer has given me that opportunity.
“I’d not played that many games this season before I came here, so I needed to get match-fit by playing and get up to speed with the rest of the lads.
“I’m getting there now and I’m willing to work hard, get myself fit and help the lads out.”
Harewood may not have found the net yet, but he has linked up well with 13-goal James.
“It’s gone well so far, really well,” said the quietly-spoken Londoner.
“Luke is a good prospect – he has a great future and I’m enjoying being up front with him.
“He seems to be revelling in it all right now.
“We seemed to hit it off straight away – as footballers we all have our jobs to do and it’s ours, as strikers, to create goals and score goals and we clicked quickly.
“We want to work hard together and it’s something that is working well.”
Harewood has fitted in with the rest of the squad and is enjoying his time at the Vic.
“They are a good bunch of lads here and results have been going our way so it’s pleasing,” he said.
“It’s a very young team here – I think I realised that more so on Tuesday night.
“Bradley Walker scored and then started talking about how old he is!
“I was asking ‘how old are you?’!
“It’s really good to have so many young, talented players in the squad here and to have a talent like that at 17, I would hope he can carry on doing the right things and enjoy a good future.
“I’m sure he can carry on learning and doing all the right things.
“I will help him all I can – there’s a real good bunch of lads here willing to learn.
“When I was at Bristol City I had a role to help bring the younger lads on and anything I can do to do that here I will in the best way I can.”