Hartlepool Utd hopes for four-player boost for Bury clash

Simon Walton is sent off in the second half against MK Dons. Picture by FRANK REID
Simon Walton is sent off in the second half against MK Dons. Picture by FRANK REID

JOHN Hughes will be hoping for a quadruple selection boost when Hartlepool United bid to avoid relegation in front of their owns fans this weekend.

Pools face Bury at Victoria Park on Saturday knowing that defeat could confirm their demotion to League Two.

Hughes was forced to take a depleted squad to Stevenage on Easter Monday, where they were beaten 1-0 to leave them eight points from safety.

But the Scot would have been cheered by yesterday’s news that Simon Walton’s three-match suspension for his red card during the 2-0 defeat to MK Dons last weekend has been overturned.

A Football Association panel ruled that the midfielder had not intended to stand on opponent Patrick Bamford and he is now available for the final four fixtures of the season.

And Hughes has revealed that the hamstring injuries suffered by Antony Sweeney and Evan Horwood against the Dons have not ended their campaign.

It was feared the duo could be set for at least three weeks on the sidelines but they now have an outside chance of featuring against basement rivals Bury.

“Both of their injuries are similar,” Hughes told SportMail.

“They’re not tears, just a tweak.

“So we’ll see how they are.”

He went on: “Everything we had on Monday were there – we were the walking wounded.

“We’re right down to the bare bones.

“Sam Collins and Ritchie Humphreys have both been nursing calf l TURN to Page 39

problems and they played.”

Meanwhile, Hughes could also be boosted by the return to fitness of James Poole.

The 23-year-old injured his knee during last month’s defeat at Oldham Athletic and has not featured since.

However, Poole was expected to make the trip to Stevenage only to fail a late fitness test and the striker is set to be available for the visit of The Shakers.