Former Mansfield Town Nathan Thomas will be able to face his old club on Saturday after a change of manager at Hartlepool United meant a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ was now null and void.
Thomas, who had a frustrating time at One Call Stadium this season before declaring himself homesick and asking for a move back to his native North-east in January, has now hit some fine form with Hartlepool.
But Stags’ agreement on Thomas’ availability to play with boss Ronnie Moore went with Moore’s sacking and now new boss Craig Hignett can pick him.
Manager Adam Murray said “It’s a bit frustrating as, at that time, it was a different manager and in these circumstances you have a gentleman’s agreement about players playing, but it’s been a change of manager now so we expect him to play and we will deal with it.
“We saw for probably two 90 minutes here that Nathan can be a good player.
“When he left we were all disappointed in the move, but we said at the time without going too much into it, it was more of a personal move than a football move.
“Nathan wanted to go back home and his performances of late have probably shown why he wanted to go back home.
“He is obviously settled and his head is settled and he is a character that needs that peace of mind in his daily life to make sure his football flows.
“It wouldn’t have been right from a human point of view for me to have kept him away from going back to his family. So I still believe we made the right decision.
“It was about doing what was right for a human being – and that’s what we did.”