Liam Noble targeting goals ahead of new National League season at Hartlepool United
Liam Noble ended the 2018-19 season as Hartlepool United's top goalscorer with 13 – but with the majority of those coming from the penalty spot, the midfielder is keen to add more from open play.
The early signs are looking positive for the 28-year-old, who has netted four times from open play so far in pre-season with no Pools player scoring more.
Noble’s goals have all been impressive finishes from around the edge of the box as he sets his sights on being a real goal threat for Craig Hignett's side in the 2019-20 season.
“Goals are something I need to try and bring to my game,” Noble admitted.
“Obviously I got 13 last season which looks alright on paper, you can say some were pens but eight or nine were pens which is a lot.
“You take them but I just need to score more goals from midfield and keep playing as many games as you can and look forward to them.”
If any United player was going to be vocal about the rigorous pre-season schedule, it would be Noble. But the midfielder said he’s doing his best to keep quiet with the regular games proving to be a good break from the intense training routines.
“Pre-season is just about keeping your mouth shut and just keep running, keep winging at them to knock a few runs off and mainly trying to enjoy it,” he added.
“There’s no better job than football but these are the hard parts when it’s six weeks running, but thankfully there has been a lot of games.
“When you’re playing with the ball, that’s your freedom really, you don’t think of the running then.”
Hartlepool have been taking a more detailed and scientific approach to pre-season by using GPS and heart-rate monitors on their players.
“It’s all logged in which is good, I’ve been at a few clubs which have used heart rate monitors and things like that so you know you can’t cheat,” said Noble.
“They know how far you’ve ran and all that so that’s a good thing and I think it’s been a positive change for us.”