Nicky Featherstone absence may force Pools formation switch

Nicky Featherstone commits the foul that earned him a red card

Nicky Featherstone commits the foul that earned him a red card

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Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett admits the loss of Nicky Featherstone is massive blow to the balance of his side.

And as a result he is considering a system rethink ahead of this tomorrow’s visit to Grimsby Town.

We have got a good squad of players able to step in.

“While it is a loss we can cope with it,” said Hignett of Featherstone, who serves the first of a three game suspension following his red card in midweek.

“It might make us change the way we play. We might go a little bit different and a little bit more attacking.
“Nicky has made us tick so he will be a big loss. To lose him for three games is really harsh.
“But we will get over it. We have got a good squad of players able to step in.”
On the injury front Hignett is still waiting on the fitness of Rob Jones, who has missed the last three games with a hip problem.
Michael Woods and Matthew Bates remain sidelined, though.
“Rob is probably the closest,” said the gaffer.
“The other two are in the gym now and have been outside a couple of days. We will see how they settle down.”
“Rob we are just waiting to see how he reacts to a bit of training.
“Then we will make a decision on him before Saturday.”

Hignett admits he is frustrated with the injury situation at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium this season.

“Everything is a proper injury. None of them are muscle strains or anything like that,” he said.

“You can’t legislate for that.”

One player who will return to the fold is Scott Harrison, after serving his one game ban.

But Hignett stopped short of revealing whether he’d be thrown in from the off, or would have to start the clash on the bench.

He said: “He will be involved definitely.

“I’ll have to look at that because defensively the other night we were excellent.

“I have a decision to make now. But as a manager that is what you want.”