Hartlepool injury news: Defender touch and go for Pompey clash

James Martin.James Martin.
James Martin.
James Martin is rated as doubtful for Hartlepool United's trip to Portsmouth.

The teenage full-back has been impressive since forcing his way into the Pools first-team picture last month.

But, having displaced Jake Carroll from Craig Hignett’s starting XI, the defender may have to sit out the Fratton Park clash.

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Fellow defender Jordan Richards and Jake Orrell, both on the bench for the 5-0 home loss to Cambridge United last week, could also be missing tomorrow.

Confirming the news, manager Hignett said: “James Martin has a knock and Jordy Richards hasn’t been well.

“Jake Orrell has a knock but the rest are OK.

“We have one or two little aches and pains but I’m sure that as the week goes on they will disappear.”

One player who will again be absent is veteran Rob Jones.

The 37-year-old centre-half has been a bit part player for Pools this season, with a hip problem keeping the former Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster Rovers man sidelined for large chunks of the campaign to date.

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As a result Hignett faces a decision on whether to continue with the central defensive pair of Toto Nsiala, who had a shocker at the Vic last week, and Matthew Bates, or call back Scott Harrison to the side.

Speaking of the task ahead, Hignett said: “A win would turn things around.

Pompey are a team with buckets of money who are doing well at the top of the table.

“They are a good footballing side, but the focus is on us and how we approach the game.

“The last two for us have been unbelievably disappointing.

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“I have put up with a lot of stick, which comes with the job. So have the players.

“It is time to baton down the hatches and do a job for each other.

“We have got good lads and good footballers.

“Sometimes that is not always enough.

“You need characters and leaders and I am looking for them at the minute.

“If they don’t stand up we will drift along as we are.”