How Hartlepool United will look to combat injury to Peter Kioso when they face Exeter City in the FA Cup second round
Full-back Peter Kioso has been one of the most consistent performers for Hartlepool United this season.
The 20-year-old featured in all but two matches for Pools so far this season before picking up a nasty concussion in the closing stages of Tuesday night’s 5-1 win at Chesterfield.
Kioso faces at least 10 days on the sidelines and will not feature in arguably United’s most important match of the season so far as they face a League Two Exeter side with a place in the FA Cup third round up for grabs.
Fortunately, manager Dave Challinor has at least two solid options to come in for Kioso at St. James’ Park this Sunday (2pm kick-off).
Pools’ other 20-year-old right-back has been restricted to just six starts this season with the majority of those seeing him feature in a more central role.
He’s yet to start a game under Challinor but could be in line for his first after coming off the bench to get some minutes under his belt at the Proact Stadium on Tuesday.
Richardson would be a natural replacement for Kioso and wouldn’t require any additional changes in formation or personnel.
Pools’ versatile skipper can play just about anywhere in midfield or attack and has proven himself as a capable wing-back on occasion as well.
Richardson is expected to be the preferred option should Hartlepool play with a back four as expected. But Donaldson could be given the nod should Challinor look to play with wing-backs by introducing an additional central defender in Aaron Cunningham to the line-up.