Hartlepool sweat on fitness of Nathan Thomas

Nathan Thomas lies injured at Barnet
Nathan Thomas lies injured at Barnet

Hartlepool United are being made to sweat on the fitness of talisman Nathan Thomas.

The top-scorer had to be stretchered off the pitch midway through the second half of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Barnet.

We will miss Nathan a couple of weeks I’d guess.

And while the club medical staff have diagnosed the problem as a groin injury, the extent of damage done is not yet known.

Thomas left the The Hive on Saturday night on crutches.

He will be assessed by the club physio and doctor today, but the fear is that Thomas, who has scored seven goals this season, including yet another cracker in the loss at The Hive, could be sidelined for a number of weeks.

It is expected that he will at least miss the next two - the FA Cup tie with Stamford AFC on Sunday at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, as well as the club’s final Checkatrade Trophy group stage match against Rochdale three days later.

“Nathan scored but he has done his groin, in a bad way in there, so we assess him,” manager Craig Hignett confirmed.

“We will miss Nathan a couple of weeks I’d guess.

“At the moment he’s on crutches. We will assess him and take him from there.”

Having had clear the air talks earlier last week and a video session where all of the players mistakes were played on the big screen for all to see, you’d think things would start to click into place for Pools.

Hignett admits that they have not.

“We’ve gone through all the stats this week, but we’ve done it again,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous, a mentality thing. We all know their jobs about set pieces, if your man scored, it’s your fault.”

As a manager there is actually only so much you can do, says Hignett.

Having put in the hard work over the week, no manager can play the game for his players. He has to trust them to do their own work on a weekend.

That is something which doesn’t seem to be happening.

Hignett added: “I can’t walk them through it all, not the whole game.

“With ten men we know set-pieces are going to be more of a handful, they get a fluke and two from set-pieces. It should have been avoided.”