COLIN Cooper admits he may have to “put an arm around” Jack Compton in a bid to get the very best from the Hartlepool United winger.
The 24-year-old made his Pools bow during the club’s tour of Holland earlier this month and looks set to feature at Whitby Town tomorrow night.
Compton remains Cooper’s sole acquisition since his unveiling as Pools boss in May.
The pair had worked together at Bradford City and Cooper showed no hesitation in securing his services.
Compton demonstrated his turn of foot in the Netherlands and showed signs of the promise which persuaded Cooper to make a move for the former Colchester United wideman.
But the Pools chief also says it could take a little time for the Cardiff-born star to scale the heights of which he believes he is capable.
“There were little flashes with Jack in Holland,” Cooper reflected.
“With Jack it’s perhaps a case of putting an arm around him and encouraging him to be as positive as he can be.
“He has a smashing left foot and has the ability to drop his shoulder and go past full-backs.
“You just want to encourage people with that ability to do it more.
“It’s about making players like that believe in themselves.
“Sometimes that can take a little bit of time, but if you see improvement every day then you’re heading in the right direction.”
Compton is not the only squad member who Cooper believes boasts the ability to attack opposition defenders.
Jon Franks, James Poole, Luke James and former Middlesbrough youngster Zak Boagey are all offensively minded.
And Cooper sees the potential among those players.
“You saw in Holland with Franksy, he got his head down, got at the full-back and got a few crosses in,” he went on.
“Zak did the same as well and created a couple of chances.
“We’ve got the likes of Luke and Poolie as well.
“That’s what you need – people in the forward positions who are prepared to be positive and put defenders on the back foot.”