Jack Baldwin ready to return for Hartlepool United

ON HIS WAY BACK: Jack Baldwin in action against MK Dons. Picture by FRANK REID
ON HIS WAY BACK: Jack Baldwin in action against MK Dons. Picture by FRANK REID
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JOHN Hughes could recall Jack Baldwin for tomorrow’s trip to league leaders Sheffield United.

The Scot is keen to maintain pride, admitting he is growing tired of seeing his side shipping goals.

And with the table-topping Blades to come at Bramall Lane, Hughes could choose to bolster his defence with Baldwin – free from suspension – joining Peter Hartley and Sam Collins in the heart of the backline.

“I might have to look to go five at the back,” he told SportMail ahead of the trip to South Yorkshire (kick-off 3pm).

“But you’re caught between a rock and a hard place because I want to have a right good go at the same time.

“On the other hand you want to be solid.

“I have to look at everything.

“That might mean looking to keep us in the game as long as possible.”

Should Hughes decide to restore Baldwin it would come at the expense of either Charlie Wyke or one of his widemen, Jonathan Franks or Andy Monkhouse.

The 48-year-old, however, is also considering packing his midfield.

“I could always go a three-man midfield and bottle it up,” he explained.

“But that would mean we’re lacking up front.

“I want to work their goalkeeper and I want to get crosses in – but for that you want two strikers in there.

“Big Stevie (Howard) is a good focal point for us because we can get in and around him.”