Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett is backing Liam Donnelly to step into boots of injured Carl Magnay if needed at Plymouth Argyle

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett is backing Liam Donnelly to step into the boots of Carl Magnay, should the defender be ruled out with a knee problem.

Having taken two heavy knocks Magnay was substituted just before half-time of Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Mansfield.

And instead of turning to Jordan Richards, as Hignett did earlier in the campaign against Notts County, he moved left-back Donnelly across to the right-hand side, bringing Tom Carroll off the bench.

Should he be required to fill in on that side again this weekend, Hignett is confident Donnelly is up to the job, ahead of Pools making the trip to League Two table toppers Plymouth Argyle.

“Liam is a versatile player. He can play left back, right back and central midfield,” said Hignett.

“And it’s a real plus for us to see how well he can do.

“He played well at left back and I thought when he went across to right back he was just as good.”

News is awaited on the extent of Magnay’s injury, with the full-back set for further examination by the club’s medical staff and potentially a scan.

Hignett admitted on Saturday that although the injury is not as bad as first feared he is worried the 27-year-old could be out for a few weeks.

As a result Magnay is rated as a major doubt for the long trip to Home Park this weekend.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the injury front Rob Jones is expected to hand Hignett a boost with his return from a hip issue.

The big central defender took a knock on the joint towards the end of the first half against Yeovil Town a week and a half ago.

And despite Hignett’s hopes of the 36-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers man being back for the Stags encounter, the game, in which Pools managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season, came around too soon for the veteran.

Speaking about Jones, Hignett is sure he will have the towering stopper available for the battle with Derek Adam’s men on Saturday.

The gaffer said: “Mansfield was a bit too soon for Rob Jones.

“We will see him back training properly this week.”