Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor praises impact of former Bolton Wanderers defender with injury update on David Ferguson and Mark Shelton

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor is hopeful David Ferguson will be fit to face Halifax Town this weekend but praised the impact of his left-back replacement, Joe Bunney.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 6:00 am

Bunney signed a short term deal at Pools four weeks ago and completed the full 90-minutes in Monday’s 1-0 win at Notts County after coming into the side in place of the injured Ferguson.

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“Definitely towards the end we needed his experience [at Notts County],” Challinor said.

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Joe Bunney at Notts County. Picture by Frank Reid

"Bunney, by his own admission, is a little bit rusty and he hasn’t played a lot of football. He’ll improve based on the 90-minutes he got.

Ferguson injured his shin after clattering with the goalpost in the Boxing Day win over Halifax while midfielder Mark Shelton completed the full 90-minutes at Victoria Park despite breaking his hand in the first half.

"Fergie, fingers crossed will not be too serious,” Challinor added. “We’ve just got to see how he settles and we hope he’ll be okay for the weekend.”

“Shelts missed out as well, he broke his hand against Halifax on Saturday and went for an x-ray which showed a fracture near his wrist.

"We need to see if we can get a cast for him or something that will allow him to play so he doesn’t risk a lot.

"It’s unfortunate for him because he’s been in a decent little run of form but I spoke after the game on Saturday about continuity and picking the same side, the way things are, things turn around quickly and the players who are out of the team have to be ready to come in and do a job and they’ve done that brilliantly.”

With January fast approaching, Pools will have decisions to make regarding Bunney’s short term contract as well as Tyler Magloire’s loan deal from Blackburn Rovers which is due to expire next month.

The Pools boss continued: “We’ve lost important players through injury who have good experience and know how of the league but through that disappointment comes opportunity and we’re not too far away with Lidds [Gary Liddle] coming back.

"The lads who have come in short term with short term loans and contracts, they’ve been fantastic and really got to grips with what we’re trying to do.

"It’s been really pleasing and long may it continue.”

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