The best is yet to come from Nathan Thomas says Pools’ boss Craig Hignett

Nathan Thomas scores his brilliant goal at Grimsby
Nathan Thomas scores his brilliant goal at Grimsby

The best is yet to come from talismanic wide man Nathan Thomas, insists Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett.

The 22-year-old winger netted his sixth goal in six games on Saturday with an exquisite chip from the edge of the area to put the icing on the cake for Pools at Grimsby.

We knew what he would do, but to do it in match situation - it’s a world class goal.

And although he was quiet in the 3-0 win, Hignett claims Thomas’ strike, his team’s third, was “world class”.

But the gaffer reckons Thomas isn’t done yet.

He thinks the former Plymouth, Motherwell and Mansfield man can get even better while at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

“Nathan said before the game he would chip the keeper – he did it in training in the week and he had it in his head when he got the ball,” said Hignett.

“We knew what he would do, but to do it in match situation - it’s a world class goal.

“He turns up and does that which shows just how much talent the lad has.

“Nath is a character, there’s not enough of them in the game and we are working with him to get better. He can improve. You can see how much he’s come on recently.

“We all know what he is capable of.”

Thomas’ strike will no doubt be a contender for goal of the month, even though it was scored with October being barely 24 hours old.

As good as that effort was it wasn’t the only world class moment in the match.

Hignett pointed towards the remarkable double save made by Trevor Carson with the score finely balanced at 2-0.

Hignett continued: “Trevor’s saves were excellent.

“I knew the next goal at 2-0 was massive, when you need your keeper and defenders, they were brilliant.

“Trevor is an international goalkeeper and he showed why. Apart from that they didn’t trouble him too much.”

Carson will miss Pools next two games, and Hignett admits he will be a loss to his starting plans.

But the keeper, who will be away with the Northern Ireland senior side, is not the only player unavailable due to an international call.

Liam Donnelly will also be absent from the squad for the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Sunderland Under-21s at the Vic tomorrow night.

And Hignett also hailed the impact of Donelly, who ended the Grimsby match in the centre of midfield, his fourth position in three games.

“Liam played centre mid at the end and didn’t look out of place,” said the manager.

“He’s been a real bonus. A quiet lad, a natural defender with an edge to him and he is as good in all positions he’s played for us.”

On the rest of the Pools’ backline, he added: “Defensively we were efficient, we did a job. At two nil the next goal is important. Backs to the wall and then the keeper who had made saves you would expect, then to do it twice in a minute was incredible.

“Everyone has played their part, blocks, tackles, headers and we were really solid.”

And while Hignett admits it was a team performance, with positive contributions all over the park, which won the points which saw Pools climb to 13th spot in the fourth tier table, he saved the final word for two goal Padraig Amond.

“Podge was always going to score,” said the manager.

“He was going to be a thorn in their side. It’s one of them things which happens. He has scored a load of goals here, and got two more. “It’s quick reactions for the first and then the second is a great header.

“It was two good goals for him and I’m really pleased.”