Craig Hignett: Michael Woods touch and go for Pools return

Michael Woods.
Michael Woods.
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Hartlepool United midfielder Michael Woods is rated as doubtful for this weekend's trip to Carlisle.

Manager Craig Hignett revealed in his weekly Maiden Castle press conference this morning that despite the fact the 26-year-old made a return to action for the second string in midweek, Woods may not be fit enough for the visit to Brunton Park on Saturday.

"We will see how he is," said Hignett of Woods, who played 65 minutes for Sam Collins' reserves in their 5-1 win on Wednesday.

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"It is good to have him back because he gives us something different."

Two players who definitely will return to the fold are goalkeeper Trevor Carson and defender Liam Donnelly.

The Northern Irish duo have been away on international duty with the senior and Under-21 squads this week, and only returned to the club's Durham training base today.

While Carson did not see any action against San Marino or Germany, Donnelly skippered the youth side to a draw in Ukraine and also a Windsor Park defeat to France.

"This will be the first time we have them in today," said Hignett.

"Trev wants to come in and train because he has not had a game while Liam will just use the bike. He won't train as he played twice. He may be tired."

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Rated as a doubt for much of the week, Nicky Deverdics is expected to be involved, according to Hignett.

Of Deverdics, who was taken off midway through Pools home draw with Crawley last week, the gaffer said: "Nicky should be OK.

"He just felt his thigh stiffen up.

"He has started the last two but he is going to need games."