Hartlepool United-Mansfield Town: Craig Hignett hopes to have Rob Jones fit

Rob Jones in action at the back against Yeovil
Rob Jones in action at the back against Yeovil

Craig Hignett hopes to have defensive colossus Rob Jones fit for Saturday's League Two clash with Mansfield Town.

The experienced centre-half was forced off at the break of last Saturday's 2-1 win at Yeovil Town after taking a "whack" in the opening 45 minutes.

Jones had been part of a back three in the first half at Huish Park with Toto Nsiala and Scott Harrison with Hignett operating a 3-5-2 before changing to a 4-3-3 after the interval.

The Pools boss admitted he'd be reluctant to use 3-5-2 at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium but he is keen to have Jones available for such a vital home game.

"A lad elbowed him in the hip when Rob went up for a challenge," said Hignett.

"If the game had carried on he'd probably have been all right but because he stopped at half-time it seized up.

"He wanted to give it a go, but I didn't want to risk it, he could hardly lift his leg.

"I was thinking of changing anyway and bringing Lewie on, getting more creative people on and going for it.

"In the end it worked out as I thought it would.

"We'll see today about Rob, we'll have a look at him, hopefully he will be fit for Saturday.

"He's had a couple of daft injuries which have frustrated him."

Hignett was impressed with Jones and his entire defence against the Glovers.

"Anything up the middle and in the box he'll defend it, he'll head it all day long," said the boss. "Rob did that but I thought they all defended really well.

"Yeovil had one or two bits around the edge of the box but we got the blocks in.

"I thought the three at the back worked, it kept us nice and tight."

Pools were also minus Jake Carroll (hamstring), Michael Woods (calf) and Matthew Bates (ankle) at Yeovil.

Bates remains a doubt but Carroll and Woods could both be available to face the Stags.

"It's probably too soon for Batesy, but as for the other lads they shouldn't be too far away," added Hignett. "We'll assess them today and see where we are."