Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett has a number of selection headaches in his starting XI ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Carlisle.
Is it too much of a risk to throw Michael Woods into the starting XI? Will Nicky Deverdics be fit enough or should he go with youngster Keiran Green? Does Rhys Oates deserve a place on the bench? Where should Liam Donnelly slot back into the defence? And does Padraig Amond again get the nod up front, or does skipper Billy Paynter return?
In this sea of questions Hignett is the man who will have to find the answers.
But one issue which is not up for debate is whether Trevor Carson should come back into the side. Put plain and simply he will play, he should play and no one, probably not even the most argumentative Pools fan, will be able to make a case otherwise.
The unfortunate man to lose out - Adam Bartlett - can’t even muster objection.
The Pools number two has been outstanding when Hignett has had to throw him in from the cold. Against Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy he was touch rusty but grew into the role and impressed. Then again against Crawley Town at the weekend he produced the goods.
And I have absolutely no doubt he will again be Mr Reliable when Carson again gets the inevitable call from Michael O’Neill for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Off the back of two positive shows most goalie’s would be chirping in the manager’s ear to make sure they keep their spot. Humble and honest Barlett admitted to the Mail yesterday that he did not feel that way at all.
The fact is that when Carson has pulled on a Pools jersey he has been head and shoulders above anything the club has had in recent years. You have to go back Dimi Konstantopoulos to find comparable.
Bartlett is a very good keeper at this level. And he proved that over the last week.
His only fault is that he just isn’t Carson.