Hartlepool United defender discusses his aims for the season as he hopes to move on from fitness issues
Aaron Cunningham put in a man of the match display as the Hartlepool United defender marked his first 90-minutes of the season with a 4-2 win over Wrexham on Bank Holiday Monday.
Pools boss Craig Hignett mentioned his ‘biggest criticism’ of the 21-year-old was his inability to see out matches and feature consistently without being injured.
After a solid display against AFC Fylde, Cunningham was forced off through injury as he missed the two matches that followed before returning to the starting 11 against The Dragons.
And he was unflappable at the back for Pools while also playing his part in the home side’s opening two goals at Victoria Park.
Cunningham looks set to maintain his place in the starting line-up for Saturday’s voyage to Torquay as Hartlepool hope to claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
“It’s good to be playing, I just needed 90-minutes to prove to myself that I can do it and get through a game of 90-minutes,” Cunningham admitted.
“In the past it’s been frustrating because I’ve been getting niggles and that and not being able to play a run of games as well. After getting the 90-minutes hopefully I can push on now.
“It’s always hard being injured and it’s a mental battle but once you’re in the team you’ve just to stay there and prove to yourself that you can play games at this level.
“For me, getting 90 minutes is massive for me in my development.
“I’m getting to that age now where I’m not that young anymore and I need to push on, get games and get consecutive games in the side, hopefully I can get a run in the side.”
The defender’s goal for the season is a simple one as he aims to play a big part in what will hopefully be a successful season.
“I need to make sure personally, I do everything possible to keep myself on the pitch and keep on helping the team out,” added Cunningham.
“My aim is that I just want to stay on that pitch as long as I can and play as many games as possible, that’s it.”