Hartlepool United stars play through pain barrier

Jake Cassidy puts the pressure on Guiseley's defence. PIcture by FRANK REID
Jake Cassidy puts the pressure on Guiseley's defence. PIcture by FRANK REID

Craig Harrison will not talk any Hartlepool United stars out of playing through the pain barrier.

The Pools boss said he would be governed by his players when it came to deciding whether they are fit to play.

The form we’ve been in, it would have been easy for the lads to have come out of the firing line

CRAIG HARRISON

Jake Cassidy and Scott Harrison gritted their teeth at Guiseley, though their foot troubles make them doubts for tomorrow’s game with Maidstone United at Victoria Park (kick-off 3pm).

Harrison limped off at Nethermoor with 15 minutes left and has undergone a scan this week, making him a likely non-starter.

Cassidy has also not trained yet this week, though Craig Harrison is keeping his fingers crossed that the striker will pass a fitness test.

Felliow forward Rhys Oates has returned to training at the Racecourse in Durham but remains an outside bet to be involved tomorrow.

Harrison will assess Blair Adams (groin) after he missed Monday’s victory at Guiseley, where Nicky Deverdics deputised successfully.

Louis Laing (hamstring) is a definite non-starter, as is Liam Donnelly who is away on international duty with Northern Ireland U21 – and scored a last-gasp winner against Albania last night.

“It’s got to be a player-driven thing,” said the manager. “Players understand their bodies and I don’t want to stop players playing through the pain barrier for the cause.

“The form we’ve been in, it would have been easy for the lads to have come out of the firing line.

“But Scotty and Jake have proved they are two men – they are 100% on board and helping us gain some points.

“In professional football, there are not many days you feel 100% fit.

“You could be stiff, have taken a whack, a dead leg, anything like that – it’s rare a pro gets up in a morning and feels 100%.

“Scott has had a scan. I don’t think there is a break, but we’re waiting on the results.

“Rhys is back in training, but tomorrow’s game might come too soon.

“Jake has had this for a couple of weeks now but he’s going through the pain barrier.

“He’s not trained this week but will hopefully train today.

“It’s similar with Scott. We have a less hectic schedule coming up, just one week when we have a Tuesday game, so we can get some rest into them where necessary.”

Michael Ledger is in line for his Pools debut after making his loan move from Sunderland this week.