MYLES ANDERSON has, according to his manager, become a proper footballer in recent weeks – since getting his teeth knocked out!

The Hartlepool United defender lost his front teeth thanks to a flailing arm against Leyton Orient in February.

And, since that afternoon, Anderson has played his best football for Pools.

He will be part of the back line at Eastleigh tomorrow, most probably at left-back where he has operated in recent weeks.

“It’s the last about eight weeks when he’s been outstanding,’’ reflected Hignett. “I think Myles has been outstanding really. I think since he had his teeth knocked out he understands what it means to be a defender and he’s putting his body on the line -he’s wholehearted.

“He’s another one who will look after himself unbelievably well. A great lad, he looks after some of the young lads as well because they’re in a house together and he makes sure that they’re all on the straight and narrow.”

Anderson arrived at Pools in the summer, his 14th club in a career which started at Aberdeen in 2011.

Until this season, the most appearances he’s made in a season was 23 for Torquay United in 2017.

But he’s become a mainstay in the Pools back line, be it a back three or four.

“He hasn’t played as much regular football as he has this season, but he’s one of them players who you can see why he’s been at places, it’s because of his attitude and how professional he is,’’ said Hignett.

“He might not be really pleasing on the eye when he’s got the ball, but he does what he has to do, defend.

“And he’sat the age now where I think he realises what it means, especially in this league. He’s played in this league a few times, probably this year he’ll have played more than ever and he’ll get 40 odd plus games in.’’

And Hignett feels that Anderson is a good example when it comes to professionalism for the club’s younger players to follow.

He said: “It’s about getting the right type of player who is never injured – and if he gets injured he misses one game, he’s very fit he just looks after himself very well.

“Again he’s another one you want to rub off on the likes of the Josh Hawkes and people like that who need pushing.

“Josh needs pushing he needs to realise what it takes to play where he should be playing, so if he can see Myles doing it and he can see Adam Bale doing it and suddenly they’re overtaking him in training and running past him he’ll be thinking what’s going on here, that’s what you want.”

Andrew Davies, the centre-half who left Pools for Dundee in January, has suffered a second broken metatarsal. He was injured before making his Dundee debut and was due to return this weekend – only to suffer another break in a practice game with St Johnstone last week.

He’s now had surgery and won’t be able to play until next season.