Dave Jones says Hartlepool United are reaping the benefits of sending Nicky Deverdics out on loan.
Jones despatched the midfielder to Dover Athletic for a month in the National League.
Dev’s been brought back into the fold and he’s got the chance to prove what he can doDAVE JONES
But the 29-year-old has returned and has been a key figure through March, starting the last two games at left-back, having come on as a sub in the previous two matches.
Deverdics arrived at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium as a goalscoring midfielder but currently looks so at home on the left side of the park.
“Devs is good at left-back,” said Jones, who has shown a knack or luck with some of his selection hunches – or both.
He has played midfielder Brad Walker at centre-half, teenager Kenton Richardson at right-back, replaced the experienced Adam Bartlett between the sticks with untried on-loan keeper Joe Fryer and is now using Deverdics at left-back.
And Jones says Pools are now getting the long-term benefit out of Deverdics following a short-term exit.
“We loaned out Dev to give him first-team football, which he wasn’t getting here.” he said.
“It’s no good just sitting on the bench and just being a bit part or playing in the reserves.
“We needed to get him out and he needed to play.
“He’s done well at a good strong level in the National League, so we knew he was match-fit.
“Dev’s been brought back into the fold and he’s got the chance to prove what he can do.
“You loan out players for two reasons, if they are young and they need experience of men’s football or, in Dev’s case, loaned out to get first-team match-pace you need to be at.”
Jones says that factor has been invaluable in Deverdics being able to slot straight back into the Pools side in League Two.
The former Newcastle youngster launched the move which led to Michael Woods breaking the five-and-a-month away drought at Cambridge two Tuesdays ago.
Deverdics will be at left-back again this Saturday when Pools must try to stop Portsmouth’s promotion juggernaut at the Vic.
“The one thing I can’t create within training is a match-pace,” said Jones.
“No matter how much running you do, you can’t replicate a game.
“It’s like taking a penalty, it’s all right practising but it’s totally different when you have to do it in front of a crowd in a pressure situation.
“It’s like going to the golf range and smashing a drive down the middle of a huge field.
“But then you have to do it at the course where there are trees and bunkers!
“It’s no different in football, Dev has needed first-team football so he was ready to come back in here and play.”