Hartlepool United v Dagenham & Redbridge: Teesside selection puzzle for Craig Hignett

Adam Jackson is in contention for a place in the Hartlepool United starting XI against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 10:00 am
Adam Jackson

The central defender last week missed his first match since joining Pools on loan from Middlesbrough at the start of November.

Bar the occasional off-day, the 21-year-old has been in excellent form.

Boss Craig Hignett said he would have sent Jackson out with Rob Jones had he not been ruled out with a thigh strain.

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It leaves Hignett with a decision tomorrow whether to stick with Jones and Matthew Bates tomorrow after the experienced pair were outsanding at the Hive.

With one of the club’s games in hand following so soon on Tuesday at Newport County, the boss has the option of resting one of his centre-halves.

But Hignett said that Jones is confident of playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.

“I’ll speak to Rob about it, but he’s a fit lad,” said Hignett .

“He looks after himself very well – he doesn’t see a problem.

“It’s horses for courses and all that I suppose in the games coming up, but what he brings to the team is massive.

“You see the ball coming into the box and it’s him heading it clear.

“You look at the size of the lads Barnet had last week, Akinde, N’Gala, Nelson but I can’t remember an effort at goal – every set-piece went to Rob’s head.

“Jacko is really good in the air but there is more to his game than that.

“Rob though is just dominant. For Trev and the lads at the back it’s great, when the ball is coming into our box, more often than not he’s going to head it.”

Jones therefore looks a shoo in to play against the Daggers, leaving Hignett with a choice to make as his partner.

“Jacko will be fine, he had a little thigh strain which wasn’t massive – we gave him a week off the training ground,” said Hignett. “He would have played at Barnet.

“I have a choice, I have a nice problem.”

Pools (possible): Carson, Magnay, R Jones, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins, Gray, Thomas, Paynter, James. Subs (from): Bartlett, Richards, D Jones, Bates, Harrison, Laurent, Woods, Bingham, Fenwick, Oates.