HARTLEPOOL United sign off from their Netherlands tour this evening when they take on Almere City at the Stadium “de Basis” in Heiloo (kick off 7pm local time).
Neale Cooper has again promised to give game time to the majority of his squad, just as he did during Sunday night’s 2-0 defeat to Telstar.
The Pools boss admitted his boys were a little off the pace against the Jupiler League outfit but insisted the workout had been a worthwhile exercise, despite his side seeing precious little of the ball.
“There were a few things which I wasn’t too pleased about, yes, but it was the first game and the lads were made to work extremely hard,” he told SportMail today.
“It could be a case of that again tonight because these boys are probably a couple of weeks ahead of us in terms of pre-season.
“But I’ll look to do something similar in terms of mixing the team up and it’s another chance to look at one or two things.”
Cooper used a 4-4-2 system against Telstar, with James Poole and Jonathan Franks deployed in the wide left and wide-right positions respectively.
And the Scot says that is something he could again look at going forward.
“I thought they did okay,” he said when asked about the young widemen.
“They both had to put in a shift and maybe didn’t see as much of the ball as they’d like, but hopefully that will come.
“Those wide areas, like all positions, are still up for grabs really, but I definitely think those two lads have what it takes to play there.”
Pools are still waiting on news of Scott Flinders’ thigh strain ahead of the game and he won’t be risked should it fail to clear.
That would mean another 90 minutes for 16-year-old Dominic Scott.
Cooper, however, will look to bring in a new back-up goalkeeper when he returns to the UK this weekend.