Hartlepool defender touch and go for Morecambe clash

Hartlepool United's James MartinHartlepool United's James Martin
Hartlepool United's James Martin
Hartlepool United are sweating on the fitness of James Martin ahead of tonight's visit of Morecambe.

The youngster has missed Pools’ last two games – the 0-0 at Portsmouth and disappointing Boxing Day home defeat to Blackpool – with a knee problem, suffered a fortnight ago.

And he is rated as doubtful for the final League Two encounter of 2016 at Victoria Park.

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But manager Craig Hignett will give the youngster every chance to be fit.

The gaffer will wait right up to the last minute to decide whether the teenager will be able to take his place in Pools’ matchday 18.

Martin has been one of the real bright sparks in what has so far been an underwhelming campaign for Hignett’s men.

In his debut campaign at first-team level, Martin has already managed to displace Jake Carroll at left-back.

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And it is expected that 2017 could be a big year for the summer signing, who has not only shown character on the pitch, but maturity on the training field at Maiden Castle.

Elsewhere on the injury front, Hignett will still be without Rob Jones tonight.

The defender has not kicked a ball since the FA Cup humiliation at Port Vale.

Jones, now 37, is expected to be out for some considerable time with a knee and hip problem.

Carl Magnay (also knee) and Nathan Thomas (groin) remain sidelined.