Craig Harrison welcomes the return of injured Hartlepool United duo

Michael Ledger.
Michael Ledger.

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison has welcomed the return of injured duo Michael Ledger and Luke George.

Harrison has confirmed the pair are likely to be in his matchday 16 as his side travel to Holker Street to take on Barrow, who sit two places and three points behind them in the National League standings.

And with numbers light, Ledger and George’s return to fitness could not come at a better time for the Pools manager.

Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s encounter, he said: “Luke George trained this week and Michael Ledger, too – both could be involved on Saturday.

“Ledge has had a catalogue of back and hamstring injuries and it’s been tough for him.

“I will get on with it and make the best of what we have got, that’s my message.”

As a result the manager confirmed to the Mail on Thursday that he will give youth a chance, more out of necessity than desire.

And Harrison has revealed that 19-year-old striker Liam Travers will be on the bench in Cumbria, alongside Josh Hawkes, who has been patiently waiting for his chance to shine this season.

“Josh Hawkes and Liam Travers will be on the bench on Saturday,” said the manager.

“Without doubt this will be an opportunity for them.

“With injuries – Liam Donnelly, Kenton Richardson, Ryan Donaldson are out, Carl Magnay is suspended – they might be needed on the pitch at some point tomorrow.”

“We’ve had two weeks without a game and it’s about keeping fit. They’ve had a couple of days off to clear their heads and come back with a good week of training.”

Time and time again this season Harrison has referred to the fact Pools are down to the bare bones.

While these words have drawn scepticism from some of the loyal Pools fanbase, this time the manager really is without options.

In the month of January alone Pools lost Keith Watson, Jonathan Franks, Nicky Deverdics, Tomi Adeloye, Jack Blackford, Connor Simpson and James Thorne.

And under a National League embargo they are unable to add to their lot, much to the frustration of Harrison.

He said: “We have 12 outfield senior players fit.

“The important thing for us is to get work into them while protecting them.

“We lost Nicky and now Franksy has joined him at Wrexham too. We have lost a lot of bodies – Keith Watson, James Thorne, Tomi Adeloye, Connor Simpson – there’s six alone before injuries come into play.

“It’s hard and it’s left us short of numbers.

“We will have young lads involved in training and we had to play a very young reserve team this week. But we will soldier on and get through this, we have to.”