Hartlepool Utd boss challenges goalscorer Rodney

Nialle Rodney
Nialle Rodney

COLIN Cooper has challenged Nialle Rodney to use the confidence of his first senior goal to allow his talent to flourish with Hartlepool United.

The striker netted for the first time at professional level thanks to a stunning overhead-kick during Tuesday’s 5-0 thrashing of former club Bradford City.

Rodney was making his fifth substitute appearance for Pools having won a month-to-month contract following a summer trial.

And Cooper hopes the boost of netting in such fine style will provide a launchpad for the 22-year-old to fulfil his potential.

“He was having a bit of a stumble beforehand and had fell over the ball a couple of times,” reflected Cooper.

“But that goal will be brilliant for him and what a finish it was.

“It was also a nice shot in the arm to score against his old club.”

Cooper went on: “Nialle scored two goals in pre-season but we’ve always said that he isn’t necessarily one for now.

“With a few months of work and development he can be a player for us.

“Hopefully that goal will give him the confidence to use his assets to their full capability.

“His main asset to get off the back shoulder of defenders and use his pace.

“He’s got a lot of work to do because he’s lost a couple of years’ development.

“But we’ve given him a chance here because he did well in pre-season and I see what he can bring.

“This would have done him no harm at all.”