CHARLIE Wyke and Scott Harrison are set to return to the Hartlepool United line-up for tomorrow’s trip to Southend United.
The pair were unable to play in the East Thurrock FA Cup success by parent clubs Middlesbrough and Sunderland but both are set to start against the Shrimpers at Rots Hall.
Pools boss Paul Murray said earlier this week he would have “no qualms” starting new signing Scott Fenwick and he played the full 90 minutes against Middlesbrough’s reserves midweek to further build his fitness.
But Murray could keep faith with Marlon Harewood and Wyke up front and introduce Fenwick from the bench.
“It would be nice to get a win in the league now, we’ve drawn one, lost one and won a cup tie,” said Murray ahead of the long trip to Essex.
“We are making some progress, which is nice to see and I have seen changes and the intensity in training has been really high.
“We did well to come back against Newport County, which the team hasn’t done for a while and we have been scoring goals as well.
“Things are getting better and hopefully we can bring all that tomorrow.
“We take confidence from what we have done – it’s all about confidence.
“I played for 20 years and know what it’s all about. If you aren’t confident it’s hard to play, hard to play well so I’m trying to build up confidence in the team.
“Get as many players as confident as possible so I can get eight of them playing at their best every week.”
Southend assistant manager, and ex-Darlo boss Dave Penney, wants the Blues to give a “big improvement” following their FA Cup defeat to Chester last weekend.
Penney said: “Hartlepool are a good side.
“They may be bottom of the table but if they’re up for it and give everything it could be a tough game.
“Hartlepool have a change of manager which means a change of emphasis as well.
“They’ll be looking to get something from the game, no mistake about it.”
Pools (likely): Flinders (C), Duckworth, Harrison, Collins, Austin, Walker, Featherstone, Franks, Schmeltz, Harewood, Wyke. Subs (from): Jones, Richards, Holden, Bates, Woods, Hawkins, Crooks, Smith, Fenwick.
Southend: Bentley, White, Sokolik, Prosser, Binnom-Williams, Worrall, Leonard, Deegan, Timlin, Corr, Weston