Steven Davies has revealed he was just hours from leaving Bloomfield Road, having been told he wasn’t wanted by former boss Jose Riga.
Hampered by hip and groin injuries at the start of the season, the striker was told he could leave by then manager Riga and a move to Sheffield United was lined up.
But following the Belgian’s sacking, Davies was reassured by Lee Clark and has repaid his new boss with goals in the last two games to secure four points out of six.
“It’s good to have a manager who believes in me. It’s a big turnaround,” said Davies.
“Up until Lee Clark arrived I was going. I spoke to him the day he arrived and he told me he wanted me to stay. I was delighted to.
“I didn’t fit into Jose’s plans and that’s fine. But the minute Lee walked through the door, he told me he wanted me to be a big player here. Hopefully I can put in performances to thank him.
“The whole place is different now to how it was six or seven weeks ago.
“No-one likes to see a manager lose his job but for one reason or another it didn’t go for Jose here.
“Every day Lee Clark has a smile on his face and is driving you to keep working hard.
“If you have a manager who is like that but also a nice guy, it goes a long way.
“You can see from Saturday’s performance the lads want to work for him, especially on a big day for him against the club (Birmingham) that sacked him.”
The 26-year-old Liverpudlian joined Pool in summer 2013, but his spell on the Fylde has been blighted by injuries and he admits supporters have not seen the best of him.
But he’s hoping to finally show what he’s all about. “It’s been frustrating and I know the fans have been frustrated with me because I’ve been nowhere near fit,” he said.
“This is the first time for around a year that I’ve managed to train every day and hopefully the rewards will keep coming.
“I’ve seen a lot of specialists and it was always about taking my time. But now I’m out there and I got another 60 minutes under my belt.
“It was always the plan to play an hour or so last weekend and I’ll be looking to improve that on Saturday. I’m pain-free for the first time in over a year.”
Davies’ goal on Saturday clinched Pool’s first win under Clark and only their second all season. But with a busy Christmas period to come, the striker believes there’s still time to turn their campaign around.
“I think there’s only us and the fans who think we can get out of this,” he said.
“If we keep putting in performances like we did on Saturday, then we will get out of this.
“I think teams who are playing us will look at the DVD and see they aren’t in for an easy game.
“It’s going to be a tough task but everyone in the dressing room wants to do well. We all work hard Monday to Friday to put in big performances.
“But it’s only the start – we need more wins now.”