LUDOVIC Sylvestre has been hailed as the new David Vaughan ... but even better.
Team-mate Alex Baptiste bestowed the compliment on the French midfielder, who finally seems to have forced his way into the side after a frustrating first 18 months at the club.
Sylvestre played a key role in the back-to-back victories over Millwall and Leeds and will surely be one of the first names on the teamsheet at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“Ludo has unbelievable ability,” said Baptiste. “The lads who have been here the last two years know he is definitely the best technical player we have at the club.
“I rate him higher than David Vaughan in that respect because the way he can keep and manipulate the ball is absolutely frightening.
“It makes a difference to have someone like that in midfield, and credit to him for keeping his head up and keeping going because he didn’t have the best first 18 months.
“Ludo has been in and out of the team since he arrived, but he has been our best player in the last two games and he deserves praise for really making his mark.
“The manager obviously decided to shake up the team a bit after the defeats against Burnley and Nottingham Forest, so he brought in Ludo and Lomana LuaLua.
“LuaLua is frightening. I’ve never seen anyone who can stop and then in the next two yards he is lightning – you can’t get near him.
“They have both taken their chance and played a big role in two great results.”
Baptiste is waiting to discover where he’ll play at fourth-placed Boro. If the manager sticks with the side which beat Millwall, the 25-year-old will again be at centre-back.
If, however, Ian Holloway opts to bring Ian Evatt back after suspension, Baptiste will revert to right-back and Neal Eardley will drop to the bench.
The man himself knows that wherever he plays Pool will be in for a tough afternoon.
Baptiste added: “We know how good Middlesbrough are, but if we want to get out of this division we have to get points from places like the Riverside.
“There are lots of tough games coming up – Birmingham, Leicester and Southampton – but after the last two results I don’t fear anyone. We were good at Leeds but even better against Millwall. The scoreline wasn’t as impressive but I felt we battered them.
“At the moment I feel like we could go out and better everyone because we are keeping the ball so well.
“We can’t get over-confident but we’ve started something in these last two games and we need to keep it going.”