HARTLEPOOL United boss Ronnie Moore is sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of the weekend with just 10 training today.
Matthew Bates (dead leg) and Scott Fenwick (ankle) are almost certainly out of the Stevenage match on Saturday at Victoria Park, while Moore also has concerns over Michael Duckworth (hamstring).
The Pools boss is still keen to add further signings to his squad and the emergency loan window is an option, while unattached players can also be signed.
Moore, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: “If I can do something before the weekend I might do.
“We need pace, be it wide or down the middle and we will look to strengthen in that area.
“Today we’ve got ten training, seven in for treatment.
“Out of them seven, we hope four will be okay but it is touch and go.
“Batesy is ill and has a dead leg, Fenwick is 90 per cent out.
“We will have a light session today, get them away, re-group and do some shape tomorrow.
“This is our third game in a week, eight hours to Portsmouth and eight hours back, then a game on Tuesday – I’ll be getting the violin out shortly, talking about poor footballers.
“But it does drain and take a bit out of players.”
While Bates and Fenwick are set to miss out, Moore hopes to have the other players nursing niggles back on the training ground tomorrow.
He added: “If the game was tomorrow I don’t think there would be seven in there, maybe one or two want a day off!
“But it’s in the right way, they get looked at and a rub down and come back tomorrow when we know more.
“We will be three missing I think.
“But no excuses – everyone knows how important it is and we need to make Tuesday beneficial.
“If we don’t then we are climbing a mountain again , this is a big turning point for us again.”