Holden can play himself into Hartlepool Utd’s derby team with York City at Mansfield Town tonight

Darren Holden in action against Bury. Photograph by FRANK REID
Darren Holden in action against Bury. Photograph by FRANK REID

DARREN Holden will get the chance to play his way into Hartlepool United’s League Two side when he lines up for the reserves tonight.

Holden is one of the options boss Colin Cooper has to fill the void left by the three-match ban for Jordan Richards after his red card at Fleetwood Town.

The 20-year-old will play left-back for Pools second string in the Central League at Mansfield tonight (kick-off 7pm).

Assistant manager Craig Hignett says he and Colin Cooper will be looking at “every option” for the right-back spot for Saturday’s League Two visit of York City to Victoria Park.

But one of the obvious solutions is for skipper Neil Austin to return to his old number two spot with Holden slotting in at left back.

“With Michael Duckworth injured and Jordan Richards suspended, there is a decision to be made down the right,” said Hignett.

“We’ll take a look at York and how they’ll set themselves up and me and the gaffer will sit down today and tomorrow and see which way we are going to go.

“We will look at every option.”

Sam Collins played well at Highbury on Saturday, Cooper bringing him on to play alongside Christian Burgess at the heart of the defence, with Jack Baldwin switching to right-back.

So Cooper and Hignett have at least two routes they can go

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down for the visit of the Minstermen.

First on the agenda though is this evening’s reserve visit to Mansfield.

Club captain Antony Sweeney will play, as will striker Nialle Rodney, who bagged two goals on his last reserve appearance, in the 4-3 Durham Cup defeat at Consett a fortnight ago.

There is a further opportunity for trialist Jordan Deacey to impress.

The teenage attacking midfielder scored the opening goal in last Wednesday’s exciting Central League Cup 5-2 romp against Scunthorpe United.

“Jordan did well last week,” said Hignett, who will take charge of the side tonight along with coach Collins and Youth Team chief John Hewitson.

“He’s had another week’s training under his belt since that game and he’s got another chance now to show us what he can do.”

Hignett is looking to not just Deacey build on his performance at Bedford Terrace but the whole squad.

“The lads played very well – we were very creative – and I want to see us carry that on at Mansfield,” said the 44-year-old.

“But there is always room for improvement.

“The lads played the way we want them to play [against Scunthorpe] and it was good to watch.

“But we must keep striving to improve the way we pass, the way we move, everything.”