Hartlepool United boss Mick Wadsworth says James Poole is man to end barren goal run

James Poole has his boss's backing.
James Poole has his boss's backing.

MICK Wadsworth is backing James Poole to end Hartlepool United’s recent problems in front of goal.

The free-scoring days of early season have made way for a fairly barren patch in front of the posts with Pools having failed to score from open play on home soil in six-and-a-half hours.

Even Saturday’s goal during the 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient came from the penalty spot, Neil Austin converting, although there were definite signs of an attacking revival with several clear-cut chances carved out in what was a much-improved performance.

Key beneficiary of that was young frontman Poole but he was unable to capitalise on a string of first-half openings and add to the five goals he has bagged already this season.

But Wadsworth refused to be critical of his summer signing, instead forecasting a lucrative return from the former Manchester City starlet over the coming months.

“The goals will come for James, I’m sure of that,” he told SportMail today.

“We’ve seen already this season that quality he possesses in front of goal and he’s scored some stunners.

“I’m hoping James will be a 15 goals a season man for us and I really believe he can be.

“He gets in great positions and has pace and it frightens defenders.

“He missed a couple on Saturday but he got good in positions to do so and that’s very encouraging.”

Read more in today’s Sportmail.