Hartlepool Utd must fill Sweeney’s boots for visit of Walsall

Nathan Luscombe could replace Antony Sweeney
Nathan Luscombe could replace Antony Sweeney

MICK Wadsworth admits that the “prodigious talent” of Nathan Luscombe could cushion the blow of losing star man Antony Sweeney.

Pools will learn today the extent of the groin injury which looks set to keep last season’s Player of the Year sidelined for at least a month.

Wadsworth must now find a way of filling the void created by Sweeney’s absence.

One of the frontrunners is summer signing Luscombe, the former Sunderland trainee having been outstanding over the course of pre-season and then again catching the eye during the opening two matches of the campaign.

He already has two assists to his name, providing the pass for James Poole’s wonder goal at MK Dons and then carving open the Sheffield United backline with a delicate chip for Sweeney to volley home during Tuesday’s Carling Cup defeat.

And, when asked by SportMail if Luscombe, a second-half substitute thus far, was in the running for a starting berth against Walsall on Saturday, Wadsworth shot back: “For sure.

“He’s a player, a real prodigious talent.

“He’s got to learn a little bit of discipline on the defensive side and he’s still naïve on some things, but on other things he’s as bright as a button.

“He’s a very, very clever player – there’s no doubt about that.

“His ball for Tony’s goal the other night was terrific, a real touch of class.

“He’s done very well over the past few weeks and his time will come.”

Full story in Thursday’s Mail