Carl Magnay has hailed the return of Billy Paynter as key to Hartlepool United’s survival hopes.
The club captain made his first League Two start since the final day of October at Wimbledon when he played and scored in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Wimbledon.
It was a great finish – he’s always going to be a threat when the ball comes in the boxCARL MAGNAY
Paynter showed he has recovered from his Achilles injury by getting through the full 90 minutes against Borough and scoring a well-taken eighth goal of the season.
“It was brilliant to have Billy back and scoring,” Magnay told SportMail. “It was a great finish – he’s always going to be a threat when the ball comes in the box.
“He’s a great presence in there and he’s a fabulous presence off the pitch to us too, so it’s vitally important Billy stays fit for us.”
The 68th-minute goal was set up by Jordan Richards, who put in several dangerous balls as well as having a rasping volley superbly saved by Stevenage keeper Jamie Jones.
Magnay, who made his first start in midweek since the FA Cup second round replay over Salford City, following a groin problem, says Pools must utilise their players in wide positions tomorrow against Yeovil Town.
“Absolutely,” said the 27-year-old. “That’s our strength, you saw onTuesday night that we created a number of opportunities from wide areas and that looks like being our most threatening route.
“We must take that into the weekend against Yeovil.
“We have to pick ourselves up. This game is massive –losing to Stevenage has made it twice as important.
“The fans turn out in their droves and we have to give them what they deserve.”