Hartlepool United’s Garry Liddle ready to face former team-mate and pal Michael Nelson against Scunthorpe United

Gary Liddle.
Gary Liddle.

GARY Liddle was sharing a beer with Michael Nelson a few weeks ago – but the pair could be exchanging blows tomorrow afternoon.

Former team-mates on the pitch and big pals off it, Liddle holds Scunthorpe United defender Nelson in the highest regard.

Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson

In fact, Liddle and a few of the current Victoria Park vintage went to visit their old comrade earlier in the season and caught up over a couple of drinks.

But it’s points not pints up for grabs this weekend as Pools, with just one win in eight, and the Iron, with an identical return in all competitions, lock horns in a high-stakes clash.

And Liddle says his friendship with opposite number Nelson will be put to one side given the desperate need for victory in the Pools camp.

“It’s been a poor month,” he told SportMail.

“We haven’t had too many players at the top of their game and that’s something we need to improve on. It’s no coincidence we’ve struggled, we need to improve rapidly.

“Scunthorpe’s not an easy place to go, as we found out earlier in the season in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, when Nels played and helped them keep a clean sheet.”

Read more in today’s Sportmail.