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Hughes happy with Wyke’s progress at Pools
AFTER scoring his second goal for Hartlepool United on Tuesday, John Hughes feels Charlie Wyke is capable of stepping his game up to a new level.
Wyke headed in the opener as resurgent Pools beat Crewe 3-0 at Victoria Park – their fifth win in seven unbeaten games.
The striker is on loan until the end of the season from Middlesbrough and has become a mainstay in Hughes’ formation, leading the line as Pools’ season has been turned around.
His previous goal was in the 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury and Hughes believes Wyke’s parent club will be delighted with his progress.
“Charlie’s goal was thoroughly deserved and I think if Tony Mowbray or anyone from Middlesbrough is watching him, they will be delighted.
He’s a handful for anyone and he’s only 19,’’ said the Pools boss.
“He’s got a good touch, movement and I’m sure the goals would come for him if he was playing in a more freescoring team.
“We are asking him to do a job for us up front and he’s leading the line fantastically.
“Scoring on Tuesday will bring him on. We are grateful to Middlesbrough and Tony for allowing him to stay until the end of the season because he’s played a big role for us recently.
“I know Middlesbrough keep tabs on him. We are always in touch, with the staff there and Mark Proctor is always asking about him.’’ Since Steve Howard was injured in January, Wyke has been Pools’ focal point. He was forced out of the weekend win at Scunthorpe through illness, but showed no signs of fatigue on Tuesday.
“Certainly the loan period is working,’’ added Hughes.
“He’s here, playing matches, getting experience and he will go back to Middlesbrough a better footballer for it.
“He’s taken on responsibility.
At times he’s up there alone and nine times out of ten he’s fighting against two big, strong centre-halves and he’s doing it so well.
“Yes, he needs runners off him and he’s got that in James Poole and Jonathan Franks and there’s a purpose to their play. It’s coming together for everyone.
“There’s a lot of confidence among the boys right now, they play with a desire and belief and it’s all credit to the players that they have taken things on board.
“It inspires me. As a player, when I saw my centre-forward closing down and working hard defensively from the front, it lifted me and it’s the same here with the way we are playing.’’ Pools will assess Evan Horwood and Simon Walton after both suffered calf injuries in Tuesday’s win.
A young Pools reserve side yesterday lost 3-1 at Chesterfield. Luke James scored.
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