Keith Curle praises powerhouse sub Joshua Umerah as Hartlepool United fight back at Mansfield Town

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Hartlepool United boss Keith Curle was delighted with the performance of his powerhouse two-goal sub Joshua Umerah as they hit back from 2-0 to grab a late 2-2 draw at his former club Mansfield Town tonight.

Aiming for a place in the top three, Stags were 2-0 up and comfortable against the EFL’s bottom side, who are still without a win.

But a Riley Harbottle backpass gifted Umerah his first goal just two minutes after coming on and his power and strength saw him level on 90 minutes and cause numerous other problems.

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“It was a decision I thought about a lot with the team selection. I knew he would not be what they wanted after an hour,” smiled Curle.

Hartlepool's former Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle.Hartlepool's former Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle.
Hartlepool's former Mansfield Town manager Keith Curle.
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“If he’d been on from the beginning I think they would have enjoyed that confrontation. He is a physical presence, a real handful, with an eye for goal.

“Nigel will be disappointed with the first one as it was a gift, though it was an instinctive finish.

“You have to take the positives out of it. This is a difficult place to come. We know where we are in the league and the pleasing thing was the attitude of the players when going 2-0 down.

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“That is massively important and we are going to need that. I like the character, application and desire that we keep going.

“We keep going and we get our rewards.”

Curle continued: “Mansfield are a good team with good players so we were filling holes.

“We nullified a very good team with good threats and 0-0 was comfortable.

“The first goal was always going to be difficult if we didn’t get it. After the second you then go all out.

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“People may say why didn’t you go all in at the beginning, but I am respectful of where we are and we’re trying to give ourselves an opportunity to stay in games, knowing that we have got some players that can force goals.

“Fitness wise we finished on the front foot but lacked a bit of quality. We did have opportunities to express ourselves and came up a bit short in comparison to Mansfield.”