NIKO MUIR has had to be patient and bide his time at Hartlepool United.

After signing last summer from Hendon, the striker started positively at the club, but then found himself out of the side for long spells.

He was introduced from the bench at Maidenhead on Saturday after Nicke Kabamba was suffering from an ankle injury and soon scored the only goal of the game.

“It was a good chance and it was all about the points. We could easily have won the other two games, so it’s nice to get going with a win,’’ Muir told BBC Tees.

“It’s been tough, a challenge to deal with. I have faith in myself and I’m happy to take my chance and score.

“We have a game Tuesday and we take the confidence from this into it – pass the ball well and another three points will be good.’’

Pools are at home to AFC Fylde on Tuesday and, after back to back defeats before the weekend, Muir hopes that the squad can take confidence from Saturday.

He added: “We knew the group of players we have should have won the first two games, but this time we kept a clean sheet to defend well which gives us confidence and we carry that to Tuesday .

“We have a good squad here, a few of us were here last year and it’s about adding to it and we have good spirit, but there’s a time to be serious and when we have to switch on we do it.’’

Skipper Ryan Donaldson returned to the side on Saturday and it was from his run from deep and shot that Muir knocked in.

Donaldson had earlier gone close with a diving header, which he put wide from six yards.

Gime Toure was positive in attack, as Luke James was left behind with his wife excepting their second child.

Hignett admitted: “It was a real proper away performance, the only criticism is we didn’t test their keeper too much.

“I said I wasn’t going to panic two games into it, we were going to get better as a side.’’

POOLS (4-4-2): Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Kitching, Mafuta (Kennedy 89), Featherstone, Noble, Donaldson (Holohan 85), Toure, Kabamba (Muir 46). Subs (not used): Cunningham, Williams.