Who could replace Keith Watson? Craig Harrison’s options analysed, should key defender be ruled out

Keith Watson
Keith Watson

Five unbeaten, four wins, 13 points and just two goals conceded - it’s fair to say it’s been a prosperous 24 day period for Hartlepool United.

And without doubt one of the catalysts to that upturn in fortunes has been defender Keith Watson.

But a knee injury could at best see him rated as doubtful for the weekend, at worst end his loan spell altogether.

So, with that in mind, we assess the options available to Craig Harrison, should the St Jonhstone loanee be unavailable for Eastleigh.

l Louis Laing

The obvious choice to step into the heart of defence.

A player of definite quality, former Sunderland youngster Laing has not had a straight-forward start to life at Pools, suffering injury after failing to win in his opening five starts for the club.

l Liam Donnelly

The most likely to rival Laing for the slot.

A solid performer anywhere across the back four or in midfield. Centre of the defence is the Northern Ireland Under-21 international’s favoured position.

l Carl Magnay

Has played in the centre before, but given his form on the right of the four it’s unlikely Harrison will want to switch things around.

l Scott Harrison

Pools website says defender has a chance of making Eastleigh game. When fit a guaranteed starter most weeks.

l Matthew Bates

Seen very much as a member of the coaching staff these days.

Door is open to a return but with every passing week seems less likely.