Hartlepool United absent stars hope to be fit for Colchester

Where does it hurt? Referee Ross Joyce and physio Ian Gallagher with Carl Magnay. Picture by FRANK REID
Where does it hurt? Referee Ross Joyce and physio Ian Gallagher with Carl Magnay. Picture by FRANK REID
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Hartlepool United’s absent and injured stars should be fit for Saturday’s League Two curtain-raiser with Colchester United.

Pools were minus two of their expected League Two XI, Matthew Bates (ill) and Nicky Featherstone (groin) for the final pre-season friendly, a 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United.

Nicky Featherstone

Nicky Featherstone

Carl Magnay hobbled off with a knee injury 17 minutes from time though is confident he will be fit to take on the U’s, if selected.

Boss Craig Hignett said he was taking no risks with either Bates or Featherstone at the weekend.

“Batesy phoned in on the morning to say he wasn’t feeling well,” said the manager who expressed his pleasure at the Toto Nsiala-Rob Jones combination who were at the heart of the defence.

“He came in but looked terrible, so we sent him home - we didn’t want the bug spreading.

Look at Rob with Toto, how good were they as a pair?

CRAIG HIGNETT

“But I have a squad in which people can come in in all positions.

“Look at Rob with Toto, how good were they as a pair?

“The way they payed certainly gave me food for thought.”

Featherstone would be a huge miss should he fail to respond to treatment.

But Hignett added: “We rested Nicky who felt his groin was a bit tight but, fingers crossed, he will be all right.”