COLIN Cooper will give his battered and bruised Hartlepool United players as much time as possible to recover ahead of tonight’s Sky Bet League Two match away to Bury, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.
One definite absentee is Andy Monkhouse, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday, and will therefore be serving a one-match suspension.
But Cooper admits there could be one or two other changes for the game at Gigg Lane (7.45pm KO) after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Northampton Town at Victoria Park.
Forward James Poole was substituted on the hour-mark after feeling the effects of several crunching tackles, including one in the 49th minute which led to a penalty which Simon Walton converted to give Pools a 2-0 lead.
Winger Jack Compton was on the receiving end of a couple of tough challenges, while stand-in captain Neil Austin is also nursing a bruised foot.
The 46-year-old said: “James is a bit sore and a bit bruised.
“After the penalty we took him off the field and there was no point in making him continue as we had another game in a few days.
“Jack Compton got a kick right across his ankle and there was a couple of stud marks, Neil Austin across the top of his foot and Andy is now suspended as well.”
Cooper has options on the bench, with winger Jonathan Franks likely to come in for Monkhouse.
While, the likes of 17-year-old Brad Walker, club captain Antony Sweeney and veteran defender Sam Collins could also come into the manager’s thoughts.
“Me and Craig will sit down and have some conversations about what we think and whether we need to freshen things up,” Cooper explained.
“But, again, you have to give people time and if I’m a player and I’m coming off the back of a win then I don’t really want to miss the next game, if I’m brutally honest.
“If someone is particularly sore and can’t play then that means we may have to make two or three changes.”
Pools (Probable): Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walton, Dolan, Franks, Compton, Poole, James.