Dave Jones faces a couple of selection posers for Hartlepool United’s vital League Two clash with Crewe Alexandra tonight.
The Pools boss could keep faith with the same XI which performed with credit at Colchester on Saturday when they went down fighting 2-1. Pools played not just with spirit, they produced some fluent attacking football.
Jones is likely to stick with the same back four with Liam Donnelly continuing at left-back, having replaced former Fulham colleague Sean Kavanagh, who was ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Kavanagh is undergoing treatment and even if fit, Jones may err on the side of caution with a number of important games on the horizon. The boss’s dilemmas are further up the park.
The new-look midfield of Nicky Featherstone, Michael Woods and Lewis Alessandra has shown promise, though Jones has Lewis Hawkins pushing for a start.
But the trio operated have operated smoothly, certainly against Plymouth, and Jones is likely to send them out for the third game in a row.
That leaves the question of his attacking formation. Padraig Amond was supported by Rhys Oates and Nathan Thomas at the Weston Homes Stadium and all three put in terrific shifts.
However, Louis Rooney is knocking on Jones’s door for a start and could be in contention for a start.
New Crewe boss, Dave Artell has a decision to make up front too. Leading striker Chris Dagnall is suspended having been sent off in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Stevenage with Charlie Kirk, back after a three-match ban, a candidate to come in.
Pools (probable): Fryer, Richardson, Walker, Harrison, Donnelly, Featherstone, Woods, Alessandra, Thomas, Amond, Oates, Subs: Dudzinski, Martin, Hawkes, Hawkins, Smith, Rooney.
Crewe (probable): Garratt, Turton, Ray, Nugent, Bakayogo, Cooke, Jones, Kiwomya, Bowery, Cooper, Kirk