'He's a good footballer and a leader' - Craig Harrison discusses Hartlepool United's capture of Keith Watson

Keith Watson scoring a goal for Dundee United in the Europa League against Dynamo Moscow
Keith Watson scoring a goal for Dundee United in the Europa League against Dynamo Moscow

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison thinks new boy Keith Watson will add leadership qualities to his struggling National League side.

Pools officially confirmed the capture of the St Johnstone full-back on loan until January this morning, news Sport Mail brought to you yesterday evening.

And Harrison thinks the former Dundee United and St Mirren full-back can add not only a wealth of experience to his ranks, but also lead from the front, having played at Europa League level for the Arabs, and having made more than 200 appearances in the top flight in Scotland.

"Keith has everything, he’s a good footballer, has good experience and he’s a leader," said Harrison.

"That is something we have been looking for as we maybe had a little bit of a shortage of leading up the games up to now.”

“We have got someone who has played at a very good level, he’s a good age and has over 200 SPL appearances and Europa League experience with Dundee United.

"I am delighted, it is something we needed, we have been a bit light on defenders.”

Watson joins on a deal til the winter window having seen his gametime limited at Saints in recent times.

The 27-year-old mostly played as a right-back during his time north of the border but can also play centre-half, if needed.

Injuries have been a major factor in the player's career to date, having looked destined for greater things while a player at Tannadice.

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright thinks the move will be perfect for Watson.

"We are pleased he's got somewhere to go and play," said the former Newcastle United and Northern Ireland boss.

"With Keith it hasn't been about his ability because everyone has seen how well he's done when he's been in the team.

"But he's been unfortunate, he was doing well then had a freak accident in the gym and had to have a knee operation.

"It's important for him to go out and play.

"The main thing is for him to be playing, get games under his belt and get his career back on track."

Meanwhile, the scan results from Louis Laing's injury are back, and confirm he will miss three weeks with his hamstring problem.

Harrison said: "Louis got injured on Saturday so he is going to be out for 2-3 weeks. We’ve had the report from his scan today and he has a Grade I hamstring injury.

"So we need to try and strengthen our back four and obviously Keith has done that and I am really pleased with his signing.

"It is something we have tried to get along the way but hadn’t managed to get until now."