What Aaron Cunningham had to say about Michael Raynes that Hartlepool United fans will love
Hartlepool United defender Aaron Cunningham is enjoying playing alongside experienced heads in Craig Hignett’s three-at-the-back formation.
The 21-year-old started alongside Michael Raynes and Fraser Kerr in the centre of defence as Pools defeated Wrexham in a six-goal thriller.
Liam Noble and Gime Toure both scored twice in a big victory at Victoria Park with United netting three goals in a devastating ten-minute spell to win the game.
Pools lost their opening two league games before beating Maidenhead at York Road. However, Hignett’s side failed to capitalise on the win, drawing against Fylde and Chorley and losing to Bromley before dispatching of Wrexham on Bank Holiday Monday.
Cunningham said: "I really like [playing in a back three] I always feel comfortable especially with Raynesy [Michael Raynes] to my right and knowing Fraser [Kerr] can do the same on the other side.
“It’s just comfortable being around them and we all just feel solid especially with Kitch [Mark Kitching] to my left as well, he’s always giving cover as well.”
And Cunningham is keen to learn from the more experienced players in Hignett’s squad.
Michael Raynes, now 31-years-old, boasts years of knowledge from his days with Oxford United, Mansfield Town, Carlisle United and Crewe Alexander which Pools’ young defender intends to tap into.
“I know I can learn a lot from Michael Raynes and what he does definitely. It’s a massive learning curve and when you’ve got someone experienced who plays in the same position, you need to learn from them not just on the pitch but off it as well.
“I love playing alongside him because he’s an old head in the team and you know everything he’s telling you is encouraging and you know he’s the rock behind you so even if you get out of position you know he’s there and he’ll drag you back in and keep you right. I’m happy to do that and be solid for the team.
“I’m a defender, I’ve got to defend but the shot today was just a bonus as well as the header I had. But in this league, you need to be aggressive and especially as a young player.