Fresh injury crisis hits Hartlepool United

Nicky Featherstone.
Nicky Featherstone.

FIVE of Hartlepool United’s starting XI are rated as doubtful for the trip Dagenham, after a fresh injury crisis swept through the Pools squad.

Manager Craig Harrison could be without Jake Cassidy, Michael Ledger, Rhys Oates, Michael Woods and Keith Watson in East London tomorrow.

Four of that group were unable to train at the back end of the week, while Watson, who made a return from a four month knee injury lay-off, is set to monitored ahead of the clash.

Harrison said: “Jake Cassidy, Rhys Oates, Michael Woods and Michael Ledger didn’t train [Thursday],” said Harrison.

“That is a concern for us being so late in the week.

“It is what it is and we have to get on with it.”

That news also comes on the back of an on-going issue with Nicky Featherstone, who again looks likely to miss the trip due to complications from his leg break.

Harrison’s ranks could be boosted by a return to fitness of Conor Newton and Louis Laing.

Scott Harrison, who is on the verge of leaving the club in the next month, and Blair Adams, back from suspension, are both set to be available.

Pools skipper Carl Magnay could be involved, but he is not yet 100%, despite getting a week’s worth of training under his belt at the club’s Durham University Racecourse training base.

“I don’t imagine Nicky Featherstone will be fit to return,” said Harrison.

“Conor Newton and Louis Laing are back out on the training pitch, which is positive.

“Mags is back out there. He will have a week under his belt by Saturday. It is how he feels psychologically.”

Meanwhile, Pools’ postponed visit to Chester has been rearranged.

Harrison’s side were due to travel to the Deva Stadium on December 30 last year, but due to a waterlogged pitch the encounter was called off.

Both sides have now agreed to play the game on Tuesday, January 23. Kick off 7.45pm.

When the game was called off, manager Harrison, whose side then had two extra days to prepare for the 2-2 New Year’s Day draw with Gateshead, said: “We wanted to play.

“We are disappointed because although it gives us time to prepare, you also just want to get back out, having done so well [at Gateshead on Boxing Day].

“That result, and the performance, gave us confidence. We were desperate to keep the momentum going.”

Regarding tickets for this game, a statement, released on Pools official website, reads: “As with the original fixture, Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets for the game at The Swansway Chester Stadium ahead of kick-off on the turnstiles.”

Tickets are priced at £18 for adults, £12 for seniors, students, unemployed and armed forces, £10 for under-21s, kids prices range from free for under fives to £5.