Matthew Bates gives injury update on Pools' skipper Andrew Davies
Hartlepool United skipper Andrew Davies is OUT of Tuesday night's trip to Braintree after injuring his left ankle.
The defender will be assessed later next week when the swelling goes down on the joint, but has already been ruled out of the midweek clash by manager Matthew Bates.
Following Pools' 1-0 home loss to Ebbsfleet United, Bates said: "I don’t think he will shake it off quickly, there’s a bit of swelling on his ankle.
"That needs to go down before we discover the severity of it. He will miss out on Tuesday and it's too early to say about Saturday.
"Andrew went off injured, the goal doesn’t have anything to do with him not being there, it’s down to others. He was a big miss when he went off and we looked a bit shaky.
"We started the second half well and him going off meant we stepped off the gas a bit."
Bates was disappointed with the way his players defended in the encounter, having dominated for large periods.
He also believes they need to find their clinical edge ahead of this Tuesday.
"I felt we were the better side today, we created a lot more chances and it was a game decided in both boxes," said the manager.
"We need to be more ruthless in both boxes – but poor defending or their goal and something we have to look at.
"We created chances, but have to finish them when we do. Anyone can argue about chances, good chances and we need to be more ruthless. We can’t have the attitude of ‘another one might come’ but they may not. We have to take them.
Bates continued: "We were solid generally, they scored from an individual mistake from us. It’s about learning individually what’s the right thing and what’s the wrong thing to do."
Michael Woods and Josh Hawkes were left out of the squad on the day but Bates says it was purely a selection issue, as both are fully fit.
"We have 16 players in the squad, the players weren’t in the squad today," he said when asked about the duo's absence.
"It’s down to players to give me a decision from what I see in training. I’m sure there’s disappointment amongst players.
"We want to go again Tuesday and we haven’t got the return from the first three games, but haven’t got the points. We could have had nine, seven, four, but there’s a long way to go yet. This is just the first week, let’s hope for a better second week and go from there.
"It’s about converting chances, and keeping them out at the other end."