Rhys Oates and Devante Rodney hand Hartlepool United boss Barrow conundrum

Devante Rodney
Devante Rodney

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison admits that the performance of Rhys Oates and Devante Rodney last weekend has given him a frontline headache.

Debutant James Thorne was thrown in from the off and led the line expertly in the Woking draw.

But clearly tiring, he was withdrawn just after the hour mark, where Oates and Rodney were introduced.

The duo did themselves no harm with a pacey, energetic show off the bench, and it did not go unnoticed by Harrison, who could recall one, if not both for the National League visit of Barrow to the Vic tonight.

“Devante and Oatesy have come off the bench and had an impact on the game. That is a real positive for me,” said Harrison.

“They were disappointed not to play the game. Their attitude has been outstanding.

“Rhys started last week and did very well, while Devante came on and had an impact.

“Devante has not got a goal yet but the chances he has created for himself he could have easily scored five or six goals so far this season.

“The lads who came on had an impact - that is very encouraging.

“They didn’t sit and sulk they helped us get the result we wanted.

“It means we can mix it up from the bench.”

On Thorne, Harrison was more than impressed with the 21-year-old.

Ex-Nottingham Forest and Macclesfield Town striker Thorn may not be the experienced head the manager claimed to be looking for, but definitely seemed to have all the tools to make an impact at Pools.

“He has had minimum contact time with the players. We trained differently to the way we normally do - so he did not get a lot of time with the rest of the players in the group,” Harrison said of Thorne’s first week at the club.

“We decided just to throw him in. Sometimes that goes for you and sometimes it doesn’t.

“Players sometimes play off adrenaline. And it worked well for him.”

Harrison’s options are open, though, when it comes to who starts this evening.

He continued: “ We have got players who can play anywhere across the front three.

“We are lucky that we’ve got Oatesy, Franksy, Devante, Donaldson, James now - all lads who can play anywhere across the forward positions.”

Pools will have to change things up tonight if they’re to get a much-needed three points against the Cumbrians, having sat back and soakced up the pressure down in Surrey on Saturday.

“The system worked against Leyton Orient and it worked again at the weekend,” he said.

“They are a possession team and there is nothing better than frustrating the opposition. We defended well.

“Performance, structure, carrying out the gameplan - it was perfect.”