HARTLEPOOL United fans are watching a different Joe Grey to six months ago accroding to the manager Dave Challinor. 

Grey return to league action for Pools at the weekend and played a huge role in the team's 2-1 comeback win against Northampton. The 18-year-old delivered a beautiful ball to Luke Molyneux who tucked home a right footed volley. 

The winger has been struggling with a back injury that kept him out for large chunks of last season but is slowly working his way back to full fitness. 

According to the Pools boss, that's not the only thing he's been working on. Grey has been working on his physicality so the winger can cope with the demands of men's football. 

Challinor said: “The rehab with him, we’ve had to be careful with because we hoped that he can have a real impact as a young player. Like I say he’s 18.

“We have real high hopes for him and he’s got real high hopes for himself.

“He’ll be disappointed he didn’t score because he had a good opportunity. Really similar to the one Mols scored but he snatched at it. Mols has a shot that’s saved onto the bar, Will misses and at that point you’re thinking, maybe not.

“He’s come inside, produced a brilliant ball and it’s a brilliant finish.

“He had the impact you want as a substitute but we’ve got to make sure we manage him properly now build him up to be a 90 minute player for us.

“Like I say we have real belief that he has a bright future, not just with us but further down the line.

“For people who have seen him, and it’s probably over six months now, he’s different in terms of his shape.

“He’s becoming hopefully what we want him to become. He’s becoming more robust and can be an effective player in the Football League. For an 18-year-old, it’s a big accolade to have."

Grey has made 15 league appearances in total and scored one league goal as the winger looks to gain valuable game time as part of his development.