Ronnie Moore may not exactly be ringing the changes for tomorrow night’s Johnstone’s Paints Trophy match with Sheffield United – but he will be sending out a different Hartlepool United team.
Moore’s options are limited by both the size of his squad and the competition rules which govern a club must play a high percentage of the league side.
This match gives me a chance to look at othersRONNIE MOORE
Skipper Billy Paynter and midfielder Michael Woods both shook off injuries to play in Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat by Carlisle United.
While Paynter converted his 70th-minute penalty decisively, the striker did not look entirely comfortable after a hamstring problem last week.
Woods overcame an ankle problem, but after starting the season playing Saturday-Tuesday for three weeks, the 25-year-old will be due a breather, especially given he played the full 90 minutes for the first time against the Cumbrians.
Fellow midfielder Carl Magnay is a doubt after coming off at half-time after taking a “whack” in the opening 45 minutes.
On the plus side, Harry Worley has recovered from injury and will almost certainly return to the starting XI, having been included on the bench on Saturday.
Defender Dan Jones is set for his opening appearance of the season while Ebby Nelson-Addy and Scott Fenwick are likely starters in midfield and up front .
Kudus Oyenuga could also be in contention for his first competitive appearance.
“I will tinker,” confirmed Moore. “I need to look at one or two players, so that side who played on Saturday won’t play in the cup.
“This match gives me a chance to look at others.
“I can give Dan Jones a game at left-back, although he doesn’t really like playing there.
“I’m sure Sheffield United will have four or five players missing from their Saturday team.
“But it will give me the chance to look at some players who are groaning that they are not in the team.”
The tie will match Pools, who are sixth in League Two, with a Sheffield United side second in League One after only one defeat in five.
Kick-off at the Vic tomorrow night is 7pm. Pools have cut ticket pricees to £10 (adults) and £5 (concessions).