HARTLEPOOL United boss Ronnie Moore was relieved to see new loan signing Jordan Hugill pick up where Ryan Bird left off.
The 22-year-old Preston North End striker was in from the start against Cambridge United, impressing on his debut alongside Jonathan Franks.
Moore was disappointed Cambridge had recalled Bird after his month-long stint at The Vic.
But he was impressed with Hugill’s workrate, leading the line well, while also going close to netting his first goal for Pools.
The Middlesbrough-born striker blazed over the bar from six-yards out moments before the half-time whistle.
“The loan players who have come in have made the team better and gelled and Jordan did so well on his debut,” Moore told SportMail.
“He was big and strong and he put players on the floor early on – like the old days – but he will be okay and there’s goals in him.
“Jordan worked his socks off and he has a big future.
“I was impressed with him, the ball stuck with him and allowed midfielders to come into play.”
Although the Pools boss thought Hugill should have made a stronger case for Walker’s opening goal to go down as his after knocking it in on the line.
Moore added: “If I was him I would have claimed it – he said it was already in but you have to run away with your arm up as a striker.
“If he runs away with his arm up, he gets a goal.
“I was assistant at Tranmere to John Aldridge and he was the master at it – he ran away for anything celebrating.
“The referee puts it down and it’s his goal, mind you I probably got 10 of them as a player too!
“Strikers need to be hungry and I thought he did remarkably well, overall.”
Hugill replaced Bird in the starting line-up, the Cambridge striker having scored twice in six appearances on loan for Pools.
He was recalled by Richard Money but didn’t travel north with the rest of their squad.
Moore added: “We lost Ryan but to be fair to Cambridge they did it the right way.
“Richard Money handled it well.
“He could have stitched us up, left him here and called him back Wednesday and we wouldn’t have got anyone in [before the loan deadline].
“So he’s done it honestly in his approach.
“I’d have gone beserk if he had done that, but as managers, out of respect I wouldn’t have done it.
“We will miss Birdy as he’s not going to play that often after going back, but we could have been stitched up and we weren’t.”
Moore was also delighted to see centre-back Scott Harrison score his first professional goal, his volley turning out to be the winning goal.
He added: “Scotty’s finish was great.
“I have said before that he could be a striker, he reminds me of myself and I played up top and at the back, but he won’t be as good as I was!
“But he’s learning.”