Hartlepool defender a doubt for Accrington clash

Liam Donnelly
Liam Donnelly

Liam Donnelly is rated as touch and go for Hartlepool United’s League Two clash with Accrington.

The Northern Ireland Under-21 skipper was absent from the Pools squad that lost 2-1 at Doncaster on Saturday, with Jordan Richards coming in on the right side of the back four.

A knee injury saw Donnelly ruled out.

And Hignett says the versatile defender might miss out again, although the gaffer is yet to rule him out of action.

He said: “Liam nipped his knee cartilage a bit.

“We will have to see how it is.

“We will have a look at one or two others, then we go again for Tuesday.”

Having seen his side, yet again, throw away vital points in the closing stages of a game, Pools boss Hignett says that sometimes in football you don’t get the rewards that your hard work deserves.

“In football you don’t always get what you deserve,” said Hignett.

“As a team we worked hard and managed to limit them to two chances. One player switching off has cost us.

“We can’t afford to do that.

“It was a really hard-working display, as we were under the cosh a bit.

“I felt they had a spell on top, but we couldn’t get settled and misplaced passes. They didn’t cause too many problems and were comfortable in what we were doing.”

While many may feel negative about the result, Hignett says there is no grounds for disappointment with his players’ performance.

The manager prefers to see the positive side.

He continued: “Having gone a goal down in the first half the response was very good.

“A clear pen, put away well to get back into the game and then I said it was there for us.

“If we kept out discipline we would have been OK.

“We looked dangerous and we have to defend properly and we did right up to the 90th minute.

“We have to be at it, full-tilt, and if we aren’t at with the ball then workrate, attitude and discipline has to be and our discipline let us down.

“The performance was good against a team at the top of the league, but we have to learn from it. I can’t say the game thing week in, week out.

“You have to defend better than what we had.

“It’s no good for 90 per cent of the game, if you don’t then this happens.”

But the gaffer believes Tuesday gives his players the perfect opportunity to put things right, when Stanley come to the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

“We are down, disappointed, but we have a chance Tuesday to put it right,” he said.

“Losing it at the end was sicking for us and now Tuesday can’t come quick enough.”