Hartlepool United defender Fraser Kerr looking to benefit from friendlies following injury
Fraser Kerr is confident there will be no burn-out issues from Hartlepool United’s hectic pre-season schedule.
Kerr returned from injury to play the full 90 minutes for Pools in Sunday’s defeat to Middlesbrough at the Super 6 Stadium.
The 26-year-old suffered an ankle injury in the opening pre-season friendly at Billingham which ruled him out of the next two games at Shildon and Newton Aycliffe.
So it was a bit of a baptism of fire for Kerr on his return to the side against a near full-strength Championship side in Middlesbrough, who ran out 4-0 winners.
Before his injury, the defender was one of the top performers in the early pre-season running drill as he finished fourth behind Adam Bale, Ben Killip and Luke James.
And despite missing two games of pre-season, Hartlepool’s friendly schedule will still allow Kerr to get as many as five matches under his belt before the season opener on August 3.
“We’ve got a lot of games organised which is good and hopefully we can hit the ground running when the first league game comes around,” said the Scottish centre-back.
“It’s really important because you can do all the running you want on the training pitch but it’s not the same as match fitness when you’re out there playing.
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“Hopefully, the manager can implement the way he wants us to play going into the first game of the season.”
While Pools’ seven friendlies should gear them up well for the start of the new season, there’s always the risk of doing too much – something that Kerr is more than aware of.
“There’s obviously the danger of burning out by the time you get to the first games of the season,” he added.
“But we’ve got a big squad here and there’s been a lot of rotation to give people the opportunity to see what they can do and fight for their place for the opening game.
“There’s a lot of games in the league and we’re not looking out for any teams in particular.
“We’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves and approach every game with the same mentality and hopefully we can finish the season up near the top of the table.”