Conor Newton set to return to Hartlepool United squad

Conor Newton in action for Pools. Picturer by Mark Fletcher/ Shutter Press
Conor Newton in action for Pools. Picturer by Mark Fletcher/ Shutter Press

Craig Harrison is hoping for better luck on the fitness front this week at Hartlepool United.

The Pools boss suffered a twin injury blow ahead of Saturday’s 20-1 home defeat to Eastleigh when the in-form central defensive combo of Keith Watson (knee) and Michael Ledger (back) were sidelined.

We didn’t have much luck last week, with Keith and Ledge being out injured

CRAIG HARRISON

Stand-ins Louis Laing and Liam Donnelly performed well, but changing what had become a settled and successful back-four unit was not ideal for Harrison.

Ledger is likely to be fit for Saturday’s trip to Woking while analysis of scans on Watson’s knee are expected by the middle of the week.

Conor Newton should also return to the match-day 16 after illness ruled him out against the Spitfires.

It was the first match the 25-year-old had missed following his move from Cambridge.

“Conor was missing through illness,” said Harrison. “We didn’t have much luck last week, with Keith and Ledge being out injured.

“But that’s the way it is, that’s why we have a strong squad. When someone’s out it gives other players an opportunity.”

Newton’s exit facilitated a return to the squad for Blair Adams, who has recovered from a groin problem.

The left-back, who was an unused sub, has made four starts to date and has seen Nicky Deverdics step in smoothly into ‘his’ position.

Harrison has a week on the training ground to assess his players ahead of the visit to the Kingfield Stadium.

The Pools boss is unlikely to wield the axe after a first defeat in six saw the side slip to 17th, though they are only six points shy of sixth-placed Woking.

“We’ve been on a great run,” said the 39-year-old who has kept the result firmly in perspective. “It not like we’ve played badly on Saturday – we’ve created chances.

“Yes, wins give you more confidence, but I don’t think we’ve played badly.

“We ended with nothing but I think we deserved a point if not three, but it’s the way football goes sometime.

“You are judged in the two boxes and we were not good enough in either.”