Hartlepool United boss Neale Cooper praying James Poole is fit for Exeter City trip

James Poole is praying for fitness.
James Poole is praying for fitness.

NEALE Cooper is still sweating on the fitness of James Poole for Saturday’s trip to Exeter City – but Colin Nish could be set to return.

The Scot is desperate to have Poole – sidelined with a hamstring strain – available for the first time since his return as manager last month.

But the problem – picked up on the eve of the defeat at Sheffield United on December 31 – has failed to clear completely and he remains a doubt for the Grecians clash.

“We’re still waiting on James,” Cooper told SportMail today.

“We’ll have to see how he gets on today and we’re hoping he’ll be okay.

“It would be a big plus were he to come back and I’m looking forward to seeing him play, but we won’t take risks.”

Read full story, plus more build-up to Saturday’s Exeter trip, in today and tomorrow’s Sportmail.