Trevor Carson could miss Hartlepool United’s trip to Leyton Orient on Monday, if he earns a second call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.
Goalkeeper Carson registered a third successive clean sheet in yesterday’s 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon, as Pools moved 11 points clear of the League Two relegation zone.
But just 24 hours earlier, the former Sunderland man had been on the bench for Northern Ireland in their 1-1 friendly draw against Wales after receiving a late call-up to the squad as goalkeeping cover.
Northern Ireland host Slovenia on Monday and Carson is waiting to hear whether he will receive another call-up for his country, with a potential spot in the squad for Euro 2016 on the line.
That would rule the 28-year-old out of Monday’s clash at Orient, with Adam Bartlett on stand-by to take the spot in goal at Brisbane Road.
“I had a phone call off Michael O’Neill (Northern Ireland manager) on Thursday which I was dreading a bit because I knew Trev was on standby,” said Pools boss Craig Hignett.
“He was able to come back and play yesterday, and the chances are he’ll be needed on Monday, but if he is, we’ll worry about that then.
“I think he’s deserved it.
“If there’s a better goalkeeper in League Two, I haven’t seen him yet.
“If he goes, then it’s a good chance for me to see Barts. He’s been really good in training.
“If Trev goes, we hope he does really well because there’s a big tournament in the summer if he gets selected.”
Carson was solid against the Dons at Victoria Park yesterday, yet he only had a couple of meaningful saves to make, with Pools defending excellently, particularly in the second half when the visitors adopted a route one approach.
Centre-halves Matthew Bates and Adam Jackson both impressed, with the latter heading home the only goal of the game midway through the first half.
But while Hignett praised the duo, he believes it was a collective effort to secure a victory which realistically looks to have ended Pools’ relegation worries.
“I thought Bates and Jack were brilliant, along with big Trev,” added Hignett.
“When you want someone to win headers, to cover, to block things, both of them were outstanding.
“But the whole team was excellent. I don’t want to single players out. As units,they were brilliant.
“It was a full team effort, from Billy (Paynter) up the top, to Luke (James) and Nathan (Thomas). They really put in a shift.
“While we’d like to be better with the ball and dominate teams a bit more, I like being hard to beat.”