Craig Hignett will give Rob Jones every chance to line up at Crawley Town – but will have no qualms about starting with Adam Jackson alongside Matthew Bates at the centre of Hartlepool United’s defence.
Jones missed Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at Newport County after being struck a blow to the head during last Saturday’s win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
He’s a quiet lad, gets on with it, but he’s a really good playerCRAIG HIGNETT
The 36-year-old did not appear for the second half against the Daggers and felt too groggy to be included for the trip to South Wales.
Hignett will “assess” the giant defender but given the form of the Bates-Jackson combo at Rodney Parade, it would hardly weaken Pools.
The Pools boss highlighted Jackson’s return to the side as the sort of reaction he wants from all of his players.
”Jacko has been fantastic since I’ve been at the club,” he said. “He’s a quiet lad, gets on with it, but he’s a really good player.
“I’m pleased with him.
“He’s had a good partnership before Rob came to the club.
“Rob came in at Barnet and did what he did, so he could not be left out.
“But I want competition for places and want people who really want to be in the team and stay in the team.
“Those who are not in the team I want them to work hard and show me on the training pitch they are ready.”
Hignett is looking for a similar performance to the one in Wales as Pools continue to leave their dark away days behind them.
“A point was the least we deserved,” he said.
“The lads have improved again, we looked very solid and when we played we looked like we’d create chances.”
Pools (probable): Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray, Hawkins, Thomas, Paynter, James. Subs (from): Bartlett, Richards, R Jones, Harrison, Walker, Bingham, Woods, Richards, Laurent, Oates