STEVE Howard looks set to feature during Hartlepool United’s tour of Holland despite uncertainty surrounding his future at Victoria Park.
It was during Pools’ pre-season trip to the Netherlands 12 months ago that Howard made his second debut for the club having re-signed on a free transfer from Leicester City.
However, billed as Pools’ marquee signing, the 37-year-old struggled for form and later admitted – having joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan towards the end of the season – that he hadn’t enjoyed his return to Clarence Road.
The Geordie is still fully expected to leave Pools this summer with a return to Hillsborough having been mooted.
But Howard is part of the squad based in Heiloo this week and could figure at some point against Almere City this evening.
“We’re delighted Steve is here with us,” assistant boss Craig Hignett told SportMail.
“He’s exactly the same as everyone else in the squad.
“All of the lads here are putting the work in during training and everyone will probably get some game time.”
Howard scored just three goals for Pools last term and was allowed to leave the club in March.
And, during his loan period with The Owls, he commented: “It’s been a grind at Hartlepool, to be honest.
“The lack of resources and everything else was hard to take.
“It’s one of those situations where I’ve gone back and I’ve maybe gone back a bit soon.”
SEE Thursday’s Mail for full story and the best coverage of Hartlepool United’s tour of the Netherlands