Hartlepool United ready for physical Mansfield Town test

Steve Howard in action against Oxford United. Picture by FRANK REID
Steve Howard in action against Oxford United. Picture by FRANK REID

CRAIG Hignett says Hartlepool Utd are braced for a big physical test at Mansfield Town.

Pools, a place above the relegation zone, are up against not just an in-form side who are third in League Two, but a team that possess real size.

The Stags stood firm against leaders Chesterfield last Saturday and took all three points in the derby thanks to a goal by Calvin Andrew.

“They beat Chesterfield last week which was a great result for them,” Hignett told SportMail.

“We’ve seen the game, they are very direct.

“We know what’s coming, they are a big, physical side, but we’ll be prepared for it.

“We’ve been working on it all week – we started on Monday morning!”

Pools though will be without one of their biggest physical forces, Steve Howard, who will be starting a three-match ban this Saturday.

Boss Colin Cooper and assistant Hignett have decided not to appeal against the red card handed out to the powerful striker in the dying seconds of last week’s 3-1 defeat to Oxford United.

Referee Jeremy Simpson dismissed the veteran forward for an injury time challenge on Oxford sub Scott Davies.

“He’s got a three-game ban and we’ll just have to get on with it,” said Hignett.

“It’s frustrating but whether we think it was a sending off or not or how upset we were over the events of the last five minutes, we can’t keep harping on about it.

“It’s happened now, it’s done and he’ll have to sit out the next three games – we’ll get on with it and look forward to Saturday.”

Pools are hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s set-back to the U’s.

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