Hartlepool United prepare to face Shildon as fans get first chance to see new signing Gus Mafuta

Hartlepool United are readying themselves for their second pre-season friendly of the summer at Shildon on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

By Dominic Scurr
Saturday, 06 July, 2019, 08:00
HUFC pre season training session East Durham College. 25-06-2019. Picture by FRANK REID

The 2019 Durham Challenge Cup winners will host Pools at their Dean Street home (DL4 1EZ) looking to build from their productive run-out at Billingham Town on Tuesday.

Goals from Luke Molyneux, Gavan Holohan, Luke James and Liam Noble saw Craig Hignett’s men cruise to a comfortable 4-0 victory in their pre-season opener.

Goalscorer Noble admitted he enjoys breaking up the tough pre-season training schedule with plenty of friendly matches.

“When the games start it’s always nice because it gives you something to prepare for and build towards,” he said.

“It’s been another few hard days but we’ve got another game on Saturday now which we’re looking forward to.”

And after a convincing win on Tuesday, boss Hignett is hoping for more of the same.

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“I want us to be ruthless and I thought they were against Billingham on Tuesday night,” he said.

“If we’re 1-0 up, I want us to be 2-0 up, if we’re 2-0 up I want us to be 3-0 up. It’s important to get that winning mentality instilled into the players early on even in pre-season.

“Once the games get going, the league isn’t too far away and you want to get your fitness in. As we go on, we’ll probably play a couple of more 45 minutes for everyone then we’ll start bringing it up to an hour so the lads should be fit and ready to go.

“I want to keep people guessing as to how we’re going to play. We’ve got the personnel now and I’ve got a lot of options and people who can play in different positions.”

Midfielder Gus Mafuta is set to appear for the first time in a Pools shirt this afternoon with trialists Jason Kennedy, Liam Smith and Jack Spark set to be involved once more. Fraser Kerr (ankle), Ryan Donaldson (muscle strain) and Luke Williams (knee) are the only players set to be rested for the game.

Cash turnstiles will be in operation with tickets priced at £5 for adults, £3 for concessions, £2 for under-16s and free for under-5s.