Injured Hartlepool United stars won’t walk back into side v Northampton

Luke James
Luke James

Craig Hignett expects his ‘walking wounded’ to be fit for Saturday’s visit of champions-elect Northampton Town.

But the Hartlepool United boss warns his stars that they will not be able to just stroll back into the side.

You can’t drop anyone if the team plays like that

CRAIG HIGNETT

Luke James (thigh), Dan Jones (hamstring) and Michael Woods (hamstring) all sat out Saturday’s heartbreaking 2-1 defeat at Luton Town.

With Pools having a big squad and there still been so much of the season left (17 matches), Hignett explained that there was no need to risk any half-fit players.

“It’s nothing major with any of the lads,” reported the manager.

“It’s a bit of fatigued and little niggles, I’m trying to look after them the best I can.

“A few of them haven’t played in I don’t know how long so a few games in quick succession takes its toll.

“I’m trying to manage it as best I can.

“There are no three or four weekers, Michael Duckworth aside.

“Luke had a tight thigh, Woodsy a tight hamstring, Dan a niggle, it’s nothing that’s going to keep the lads out for any length of time.”

While Pools didn’t win on Saturday, the display at Kenilworth Road was a highly-encouraging one.

And Hignett admitted he would find it hard to drop anyone from the weekend.

“You can’t drop anyone if the team plays like that,” said the boss.

“I’ve said to the lads all along ‘if you get in and the shirt is yours, then only you can lose it’.

“They are all pulling in the same way, everyone wants the same thing, the problem I have is keeping everyone happy.”

However, he did not totally rule out changes though he said the onus was on the missing men to have to prove themselves.

“The injured players should be available again and it’s up to them to get back in the team,” he said.

“Saying that, it’s a results business.

“We want to win games, we don’t want to play well but lose matches games, we want to play well and win.”