Hartlepool United will soon reap benefits of Brad Walker’s time out

Brad Walker
Brad Walker

RONNIE Moore believes Hartlepool United will soon reap the benefits of Brad Walker’s lengthy absence from the first team picture.

Walker broke through in spectacular fashion last season in his first campaign as a professional.

Sometimes a young kid needs to be taken out and given a rest

Pools boss Ronnie Moore

The 18-year-old made 42 appearances, won goal of the season, was named Young Player of the Year and called up to England Under-18 training camps.

But the Billingham-born teen has struggled to maintain the same levels this season and hasn’t started a game in 2015, with Moore saying he was exhausted.

Walker – who has been restricted to sub appearances in recent weeks – is now pressing for a start and said recently he is feeling “fitter and fresher”.

And the season-ending injury to Michael Woods has presented Walker with an opportunity to reclaim his place, as he battles it out with Nicky Featherstone.

Moore said: “Brad is a good player but sometimes when you are a young kid playing regularly there is a time to bring them out and rest and I don’t think that’s happened.

“You see exhaustion and not being as sharp as he can be.

“We try and treat him the right way and we will see the benefit.

“Brad is now pushing for a start, there is Nicky [Featherstone] in there too.

“If we continue to play 4-4-2 then one of them has to play, if we change it, perhaps both of them play.

“At home I don’t want to be too defensive, we can attack teams.

“We need to be more than a 45 minute team at home, we have been that recently.”

Walker notched two for the reserves in their last run out, an 8-0 hammering of Mansfield Town. Although, Moore was quick to point out it was against a young side.

He added: “The reserves did well but you have to look at the opposition and I think it was Mansfield under-12s they were up against, the amount of kids who came up!

“But you can only play against who you are presented with and it’s tough because you can get arrogant and complacent.

“I’ve got one or two players who play with the right attitude who are knocking on the door.

“Brad did well, scored and got on the ball.”

Pools host Burton Albion at Victoria Park this afternoon, as they look to bridge the seven-point gap to safety.

On-loan Middlesbrough forward Jordan Jones is also pushing for a start, the 20-year-old came off the bench at Dagenham & Redbridge in midweek and impressed with his pace and energy down the right flank.

“Jordan came on and did really well,” added Moore.

“He ran at them and caused them problems.

“Mind I have food for thought for the whole lot, never mind just that position!”