Hartlepool United organise behind closed doors friendly match as fringe players work on fitness

Hartlepool United have organised another training ground friendly as they look to get minutes into several squad players.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 4:45 pm

Pools beat Gateshead 4-1 and Middlesbrough 2-0 in friendly matches at Maiden Castle over the past month and are looking to play another game this Tuesday.

Their opponents are set to be Durham University men’s football team, with whom they share a training complex.

"We’ll try to organise games and we’ve got work to do,” Pools boss Dave Challinor said.

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Mark Cullen in action for Hartlepool United.

"I’d love to have everybody available and have a full week on bits I haven’t been happy with. Alongside that, we’ve probably got four or five that won’t train and we’ll look to play a game on Tuesday.

"It’s a fine balance between how you get people minutes but also prepare for next Saturday against Exeter which is the most important.”

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Of Pools’ 26 man squad, only 17 have started more than once in all competitions this season. Challinor has suggested that, in addition to the midweek friendly matches, he’d be looking to get players out on loan in order to get regular minutes at a lower level.

Forwards Mark Cullen and Joe Grey still need to get up to speed after the pair missed the majority of pre-season due to their respective hamstring and back injuries.

Second goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell is expected to start in goal while recent arrivals Luke Hendrie and Eddy Jones are likely to be given a run out. Some trialists may also be on show with former Crystal Palace and Dagenham & Redbridge defender Luke Croll recently spotted training with the squad.

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