GARY Taylor-Fletcher, reckons it will be another couple of games before he’s truly back to his best.
The Seasiders frontman has been thrown in at the deep end since being forced to take a month out with a pelvic problem.
In his first game back at Middlesbrough, Taylor-Fletcher was unexpectedly promoted to the starting line-up after Lomana LuaLua’s no-show and, considering his lack of match action, did well.
He got another match under his belt against Birmingham on Saturday, and believes he is getting stronger and will quickly get back to his best.
“I probably need another two or three games to get properly match fit,” said the striker, who has bagged four goals this term.
“We’ve had a couple of very tough games against Birmingham and Middlesbrough, but it felt good to play and I just need to get the sharpness back now.”
With three games in seven days – Pool end a busy week by hosting Reading on Saturday – it will be interesting to see which frontline Ian Holloway opts for tonight.
LuaLua, back in favour and still in a rich vein of form, seems a shoo-in. That leaves Taylor-Fletcher battling with Matt Phillips, Callum McManaman, Tom Ince, Billy Clarke and many more for the other two slots.
Given Taylor-Fletcher’s experience, reliability and aerial ability, the smart money would be on him getting the nod.
Whatever happens, the 30-year-old believes Pool have a great chance of taking points off the Foxes.
And better still, he reckons Holloway’s new-look team is only just beginning to hit its stride and won’t fully get going until after the new year.
“It’s a lot tougher this season than the year we went up. When we got promoted there were seven teams battling it out and we were always outside right until the end,” he said.
“This year there are probably 10 or 11 teams battling it out.
“It is going to be tough – it’s a lot harder and there are a lot bigger teams than the year we went up.
“But we’re a better squad and we are more experienced so I don’t see why we can’t mount a push.
“Come the end of the season that’s when we get strong. After January is when we really kick on, so as long as we can stay in touch until then, we have a good chance.”