Hartlepool United v York City: Team news, Craig Hignett on injured Pools stars
Craig Hignett hopes to have a full Hartlepool United squad to pick from for Saturday's match against relegation-threatened York City.
Jake Carroll, Matthew Bates and Nathan Thomas, who all missed Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Notts County, could all come in for the visit of the Minstermen to Victoria Park.
Carroll took a bang to the head late in the 5-2 Thomas-inspired romp at Morecambe, but should be available this weekend.
Thomas, who has been troubled with a chest complaint, sat out the trip to Meadow Lane as did Bates, who has missed the last two games with thigh trouble.
Michael Duckworth deputised well for Carroll against the Magpies and Hignett could well give the comeback man another 90 minutes.
Bates could return for Rob Jones while Thomas would take over from either Rhys Oates or Jake Gray, the latter having looked a little ‘leggy’ in the last couple of matches.
“Jake [Carroll] is in today and will train tomorrow, Tuesday was a precaution after his head injury last Saturday.
“Batesy will not be far away and we’ll see how Rob is, he’s played twice in four days and at 58, that’s a fair shift!
“We’ll assess it all and we’ll see where we are tomorrow and I’ll select a squad and team from there that will win us the game.”
Skipper Billy Paynter was in his training top and shorts today at Maiden Castle, where he was undergoing treatment from head physio, Ian Gallagher, on his hamstring problem.
The 31-year-old has missed the last two games and there were fears he would not play again this season.
However, with five fixtures remaining, Hignett has not given up hope.
“Billy is in for treatment and we’ll see where we are,” said the manager. “His hamstring isn’t as bad a thought and we should see him before the end of the season.
“Hamstrings are a funny thing, we have to be careful with him, but at the moment we are pleased with what we have seen so far.”