Hartlepool United v Leyton Orient: Ronnie Moore hopes to have Luton’s Magnus Okuonghae fit for Sky TV clash

Magnus Okuonghae
Magnus Okuonghae

Ronnie Moore hopes to have on-loan Luton Town defender Magnus Okuonghae fit and available for Hartlepool United’s League Two showdown with Leyton Orient on Sunday.

The giant defender missed last Saturday’s FA Cup win over Cheltenham Town after the Hatters did not want him cup-tied.

It will be very very difficult for me to leave someone out after the way the defence played


Okuonghae was struggling to be fit anyway after suffering a foot injury which forced hom to come off at Wimbledon the previous Saturday.

But if the Londoner recovers then, it would seem, there is every chance he will start against the Eastenders.

“We hope Magnus is going to be OK,” said Moore. “He’s had a problem with his metatarsel.

“He’s in today, but won’t train, but hopefully he’ll train Friday and Saturday and we’ll look at it from there.”

Moore though admits it will be a tough selection call should Okuonghae be available.#

He would be faced with the prospect of having to leave out either new loan signing Adam Jackson or Matthew Bates, both of whom were outstanding in the FA Cup win.

“It will be very very difficult for me to leave someone out after the way the defence played and Adam Jackson did well on his debut,” said Moore.

“It’s hard having decisions like that, but you have to make those calls.

“You have to look at the game and what will make us better for that particular match.”

Skipper Billy Paynter (Achilles) and centre-half Scott Harrison (hamstring) are doubts though Moore is boosted by having Carl Magnay back.

The defender/midfielder came through yesterday’s reserve draw at Doncaster with no ill-effects and was training with his team-mates this morning at Maiden Castle.

“Billy has an ache in his Achilles so we monitor him and he’s probably the biggest doubt,” explained Moore.

“Carl has been out for a while, but he had a reserve game at Doncaster. He did well in that.”

Bringing Magnay straight back in would mean leaving out someone who played in the win over the Robins, but Moore looks likely to start with the 26-year-old in the Sky Sports-screened match.

“Sometimes it’s hard to make those decisions,” he said.

“I know what I’m going to do with the team, but we’ll just have to wait and see on the day.”