Liam Noble reckons Hartlepool United have taken massive strides forward this summer, not only as a club but as a team.
The midfielder was on the scoresheet on Saturday as Pools came from behind to earn a point at Maidstone. And that goal, and the reaction of the team, is the proof that Matthew Bates men have moved on from their woes of the past, according to summer signing Noble.
“I wasn’t here last season, of course, but what the gaffer, Ged (McNamee) and the lads have said is that they would have been buzzing coming here and getting a point,” said the former Notts County, Forest Green and Carlisle United man.
“We’re all sitting having a go at each other because we didn’t get the three - that shows how far the club has come in the six or seven weeks I have been here.
“Looking back on it, though, we will probably think this is a decent point.”
Character seems to be something that has flooded into the Pools dressing room this summer under Bates, and Noble appears to be a massive part of that.
The Geordie does not have a bad thing to say about the group, ahead of their second game of the season, tonight against Harrogate Town at Victoria Park.
“It’s a great set of lads,” he said.
“The lads in the team, those on the bench and even the ones we have left at home.
“We have a great squad with great togetherness.”
On his debut goal, Noble says it was something that came straight off the training grounds of Peterlee.
“I was just buzzing it came straight away after we conceded,” he said.
“Niko (Muir) was gutted that he’d given away the penalty. Jamo (Luke James) has done brilliantly - Cass (Jake Cassidy), Niko and Jamo ran their socks off.
“It was a ball to nothing and Jamo has picked it up, was about to shoot and I just screamed. We have been working on cutbacks so the gaffer will be delighted with that one. I just slid it away and it’s nice to get off and running.”