STEVE Howard will again be deployed as Hartlepool United’s secret weapon at Glanford Park.
John Hughes admits he forecast the impact of his veteran striker ahead of his return to action against Leyton Orient on Saturday.
The Pools boss had predicted that Howard – back in the squad after a hamstring lay-off – would come from the bench to change the course of the game.
And, following his introduction on the hour mark with Pools trailing 1-0, the 36-year-old duly teed up Luke James for a dramatic winner in stoppage-time.
But Howard, like James, is almost certain to be named among the substitutes for the trip to North Lincolnshire.
“The lads who came on are now pressing for start,” said Hughes, who will consider a recall for Andy Monkhouse.
“But we still have to nurse big Stevie with that hamstring.
“We need to make sure he gets through the training okay.
“I could see what impact Steve would make last weekend.
“You could see the defenders thought ‘oh no, here he comes’.
“The first ball which comes in he clatters the keeper.
“It’s something we’ve talked about – keeping the ball alive.
“Stevie is great at that and he made the goal for Luke which won the game.
“I’m delighted with the impact he had.”
SEE Friday’s Mail for full story and more Pools news, views and features