Hartlepool United team news and injury latest ahead of FA Cup third round clash at Oxford United with FIVE players potentially missing out

Hartlepool United will be forced to make at least two changes to their side for the FA Cup third round clash at Oxford United on Saturday (3:01pm kick-off).

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 8:00 am
Josh Hawkes in action for Hartlepool United. Picture by Frank Reid
Josh Hawkes in action for Hartlepool United. Picture by Frank Reid

Pools will certainly be without Luke James and Luke Williams who are still recovering from their respective groin and hamstring injuries while loan stars Mark Shelton and Gary Liddle won’t be involved due to being cup-tied.

Aaron Cunningham (knee) is expected to be part of the matchday squad which will include seven substitutes named on the bench.

Luke Molyneux marked his return from injury with a brief appearance from the bench on New Year’s Day. He’s not expected to start the match though will likely be named on the bench once again.

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The young midfielder will be assessed by the club’s medical staff and a late decision will be made on whether he will travel down with the squad.

“We’ll just have to see how he is, we’ll have some further investigations on him,” said manager Dave Challinor.

“If he has got signs of a hernia, can we manage his load in order to ease some discomfort to get him back involved? We’ll see.

“If not, someone else will get a chance. He’ll be gutted to potentially miss out but I’m not being pessimistic because I’m still optimistic that if he has got a problem then it will settle down and give him a chance to still be involved in the game.

“Saturday will be a game all the lads want to play in and there’s going to be some who are disappointed but that’s what you get with a competitive squad.

“But there’s not many who can say they’ve been really unlucky not to have played.

“They’ve got to put themselves in our thoughts and everyone will be involved with the seven subs so if the opportunity comes from the bench then all of a sudden you have the chance to be a hero.

“The lads who start have got to go and fly the flag for us as a club and hopefully they’ll do a good job.”