Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor gives fitness updates on Luke Armstrong, Jamie Sterry and Luke Williams ahead of play-offs

Luke Armstrong was a late withdrawal from Hartlepool United's squad as they wrapped up the regular National League season in style at home to Weymouth.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 7:00 am

Over 1,700 fans returned for the 4-0 win at Victoria Park but Armstrong wasn’t in attendance due to illness.

Fortunately, manager Dave Challinor is expecting him to be fit and ready to go for next Sunday’s play-off eliminator against Bromley back at The Vic.

“He’s got man flu!” Challinor smiled. “No, he didn’t have a great night last night in terms of sleep and he was feverish.

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Luke Armstrong of Hartlepool United celebrates after putting his team 3-0 up during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Chesterfield at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 1st May 2021. (Credit: Chris Booth | MI News)

"He trained on Friday and felt fine so it was out of nowhere, he would have started the game. We got the message this morning and it was just about getting him Covid tested as quickly as possible and he was negative so that’s a positive.

"Hopefully it’ll be a 24, 48 hour thing that he’ll get over and he’ll be back training on Tuesday. Worse things can happen and as much as other results elsewhere meant our league position couldn’t change, it is what it is and hopefully he’ll be fine next week because he’s undoubtedly an important player for us.

"Someone with his composure in a high pressure environment will be massively important to us next weekend.”

Luke Williams also missed out with a hip injury.

"He hasn’t trained all week as a result of a contact injury more than anything else so we’ll see how he is next week,” Challinor added.

During the match, Jamie Sterry was taken off at half-time but Challinor insisted that it was just as a precaution to keep everyone sharp next weekend

“Jamie has been carrying something,” he continued. “We thought he was maybe questionable for today but he trained fine on Thursday and wanted to play.

"I suppose when he’s feeling something and you’re 2-0 in front then you can make a change which we did. It would have been great to make more changes than we did but unfortunately we don’t have that luxury.

"We got off the pitch players who we felt were carrying little bits and can potentially be match winners for us moving forward.”

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