JOSH Hawkes is flourishing under Craig Hignett at Hartlepool United.

Two goals in Saturday’s 4-0 win at Boreham Wood justified the faith shown by Hignett in the midfield prospect.

And he hopes for more of the same tonight when Pools go to Ebbsfleet, seeking a third win in four games under Hignett.

Hawkes came to prominence 12 months ago when Matthew Bates replaced Craig Harrison, impressing in an attacking midfield role.

But he has had to wait for Hignett, Pools’ third boss of the season, to give him a chance.

The 20-year-old said: “The manager wants us to play a lot more and that suits the players. We have to keep it right at the back too and Aaron was very good on his first start.

“You need a chance, need the chance to show what you can do and Aaron has come back from a few injuries and he’s done very well to come back and impress like he did.

“It’s another long one on Tuesday and the more games, the more wins then let’s see where we can be at the end of the season.’’

“As the game went on we got better and second half we showed what we are about.

“The manager gives me a lot of confidence, he encourages me to get in and around the box and get shots in.’’

Hawkes netted his opening goal from 20 yards at the weekend, then added a penalty.

In front of him, Luke James and Nicke Kabamba have formed a promising partnership. The latter has five goals in his first four games for Pools and, speaking to BBC Tees, Hawkes added: “Luke made a good run and the defenders backed off, it was worth having a go and it went in.

“You like to score good goals, but penalties, shots inside, shots outside – I don’t mind.

“I’ve taken and scored a penalty the other week and there was a bit of pressure on it as it was 1-1, but it was nice to get another chance and one without as much pressure.

“Nicke’s workrate and hold up play is incredibly, the same as Luke and their roles help me and I enjoy working with them.’’