Former Newcastle United defender fit for Hartlepool United's clash with Oldham Athletic as Gavan Holohan nears start for Graeme Lee's side

Graeme Lee is hoping to have fullback Jamie Sterry available to him this afternoon as Hartlepool United kick-off the new year at home to Oldham Athletic.

By Joe Ramage
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 8:00 am

Pools welcome a Latics side who prop up the table in League Two looking to get back to winning ways after a disappointing 3-2 reverse last time out against Mansfield Town.

Lee’s side were left to sit on that Boxing Day defeat for longer than they would have hoped after their fixture with Tranmere Rovers at the Suit Direct Stadium was postponed on Wednesday.

But the break has helped Lee with a number of issues within his squad and, after revealing midfield pair Tom Crawford and Matty Daly have both trained following their COVID-19 issues in recent weeks, Lee is set to welcome Sterry back into the defensive fold this afternoon.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Jamie Sterry is set to feature for Hartlepool United after overcoming a non-COVID related illness. Picture by FRANK REID

The former Newcastle United man was forced to come off early in the second half of that defeat at Mansfield with Pools leading 2-0 at the time before going on to lose the game with the Stags scoring three times in the 11 minutes following his withdrawal.

Sterry, 26, requested his substitution having struggled with a non-COVID related illness in the build up to the match.

The defender was brought off as a precaution but looks set to be fit and available for selection this afternoon having completed his recovery.

“He came back in yesterday so that’s a positive for us,” Lee told The Mail.

Gavan Holohan is pushing for his first Hartlepool United start under new manager Graeme Lee. (Credit: Will Matthews | MI News)

“He told us he was struggling at half time. We tried to get a little bit more out of him but unfortunately I think when we scored the goal he signalled and said he can’t continue.

“He went back into the changing rooms and was sick. It was frustrating because you just go 2-0 up and you lose your right wing-back who is a key player in that position.

“If it threw us, or if it would have changed the outcome of the game, we don’t know but it was a hard one.

“You can’t have someone on the pitch who is struggling illness-wise but he’s back in which is a positive.”

Sterry may also be joined in the starting line-up by midfielder Gavan Holohan with the Irishman pushing for his first start under the new manager.

Holohan came on as a second half substitute at the One Call Stadium and looked to have rescued a point for Pools deep into stoppage time only for his goal to be controversially ruled out.

Holohan has been impressing in training of late with both his attitude and work ethic and Lee revealed a start for the 30-year-old might not be far away as Pools look to improve in the final third.

“They’re all training at a good standard. There’s been areas that I’ve looked at and there’s all different players who can improve and do certain different things,” said Lee.

“Gav came on and impacted the game. I’ve seen what he can do and hopefully he’ll be in the starting line-up very soon.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Hartlepool United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor.