Rangers target Nathan Thomas can be in the goals for attack-minded Hartlepool United
Craig Hignett hopes Nathan Thomas will be one of his 'double figures' men at Hartlepool United.
The Pools boss has dished out a new contact to the 21-year as a reward for an excellent first half-season at the club.
Thomas created countless chances and stuck away some stunners himself to finish the campaign on five goals.
Hignett’s decision, backed by owners JPNG, he hopes will fend off interested clubs like Rangers who have been to watch the 21-year-old attacking ace, while giving him terms he has earned.
However, as SportMail reported last Friday, the Pools chief wants a return on the club’s investment, highlighting more consistency.
That includes MORE goals as Hignett looks to turn an entertaining side into a team that can achieve.
When he took over in February, Pools were one of the lowest scorers in League Two with 24 in 27 games.
Thankfully, the numbers rose, the boys in blue ending the 46-game campaign with 49, with five teams below them in the goal charts.
But Pools need more and Hignett hopes Thomas will make his contribution while the arrival of Nicky Deverdics, from Dover Athletic, could also be vital.
“Nathan has got to be scoring, with the talent he’s got he should be scoring every week in this league,” said Hignett.
“We’re getting there with him - he has scored a few already, it’s up to him to keep improving.
“I’d take double figures from any of our forward players or midfielders.
“We need goals, I’ve added goals in Nicky Deverdics and Nathan can score goals.
“You have two players there capable of double figures and if you have a centre forward up towards 20 goals then that’s brilliant.
“The players I’m signing, apart from the centre-half [Toto Nsiala], all have goals in them.
“Goals are what we need and I think we’ve got some there.”
Thomas, signed for an undisclosed fee from Mansfield Town by Ronnie Moore, has excited his managers and fans alike during his time at the Vic.
“Nathan’s a game-changer,” added Hignett.
“He’s a bit hit and miss at times but he’s only a young kid.
“You can see though how he’s developed.”