Luton v Hartlepool United: Ex-Sunderland winger wants goals and assists

Nathan Thomas takes on the Notts Co defence
Nathan Thomas takes on the Notts Co defence

Hartlepool United have scored four times under new boss Craig Hignett – with Nathan Thomas providing assists for three!

But the wing wizard is desperate to add his name to the scoresheet and not just be a provider.

Higgy has put his trust in me straight away and hopefully I am repaying him a little bit.


Thomas was put through twice against Yeovil last Saturday by Billy Paynter, only to put both chances over.

The 21-year-old had more chances in midweek against Notts County and was “millimetres” away from snatching an injury time equaliser with his right foot.

Thomas admits not sticking the ball in the net is giving him sleepless nights!

“That one on Tuesday night must have missed by three millimetres,” said Thomas ahead of Pools’ vital League Two trip to Luton tomorrow.

“It was on my right foot as well, which is just for standing on!

“I don’t sleep on a night because of this, I just can’t score.

“I am getting there. I think it’s just about having the confidence to put the ball in the goal.

“It’s a bit of a cliche I know, but I think when you go to a new club it’s the first goal that’s the hardest to get.

“I will probably need one to hit me on the back or go through the keeper’s legs or something,

“Once one goes in I hope it can be a regular thing.”

Thomas says he is enjoying his football, fairly evident given his form in the final third of the field.

The Middlesbrough-born winger made a dream debut against Wycombe Wanderers, setting up the winner for Scott Fenwick.

Signed by Ronnie Moore from Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee last month, he has been in irresistible form for Craig Hignett over the last two matches.

And the former Sunderland youngster says he is enjoying the licence to thrill under the former Boro crowd favourite.

“It felt a bit weird for me,” he said.

“Ronnie brought me in as one of his players and I only had three weeks playing for him.

“I was a little worried at first, thinking ‘great, I’ve just got a move and I might not play again.

“But Higgy has put his trust in me straight away and hopefully I am repaying him a little bit.

“That’s three assists in two games under Higgy so I am enjoying my football he gives me the license just get the ball and run, don’t worry abut anything else.”

For all Mansfield boss Adam Murray signed Thomas for the Stags and was a fan of the left-footer, the winger could not get a real run in the side.

“As much as I loved it at Mansfield, who did a lot for me, it was not always easy,” he admitted.

“You may play for 60 minutes then sit out the next four weeks or come in and play half-an-hour or even just five or 10 minutes at the end of games and you can’t really do anything.

“But when you are playing regularly like now, it’s brilliant.

“You saw on Saturday, there was a 20-minute first-half spell when I didn’t touch the ball.

“But then I started getting on the ball putting crosses in and your confidence builds throughout the game.

“And when the second half started, I was thinking ‘I have got this kid now so I’m going to run at him every time’.

“When you get the chance to play, you can build on your confidence all the time.

“Every time I step foot on the pitch at the minute I feel like I am going to have a good game, whereas at Mansfield I was thinking I have to play well to stay in the team kind of thing.

“Now I am not worried about that, I am more bothered about how I can affect the game.”