Mark Shelton hopeful of returning to Hartlepool United starting line-up at Oldham Athletic

Mark Shelton has been nursing a bruised calf for the past week as he looks to return to the Hartlepool United side at Oldham Athletic this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 7:00 am

The midfielder picked up the knock during last weekend’s 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers and subsequently sat out Tuesday night’s defeat at Sutton United.

Pools boss Dave Challinor explained that Shelton was left out of the side at Sutton in order to give him time to be fit for the trip to Boundary Park.

And after returning to training in the second half of the week, the 25-year-old is raring to go.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Mark Shelton of Hartlepool United battles with Crawley Town's Owen Gallacher during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Crawley Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th August 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“Last Saturday I took a whack on the calf and it blown up on the Sunday a bruised and swollen,” he said.

“It was probably best for me to miss Tuesday just as a risk element. But I've trained Thursday and Friday and hopefully it settles down just right for the weekend.”

Hartlepool will be at the heart of a potentially volatile situation at Oldham this weekend with Latics supporters set to protest the ownership of Abdallah Lemsagam.

Oldham’s previous home match against Barrow was temporarily postponed due to fans entering the pitch.

In addition to the off field turmoil, the Greater Manchester outfit also find themselves at the foot of the League Two table with five defeats in their opening six games. Their previous two outings against Barrow and Leyton Orient have resulted in 3-0 and 4-0 defeats respectively.

Oldham are yet to avoid defeat at home this season while Pools are still seeking their first points on the road – something will have to give this afternoon.

“It will be an interesting one,” Shelton added. “I heard fans were in then only season tickets then no body was allowed in so I don't know what to expect.

"It could be a hostile atmosphere really but I think all we can do is do our job. We've got a job to do but Oldham will be desperate for points.

"Looking at the table after seven games doesn't write a true story because we're in the play-offs and they're at the bottom. It will be a tough game but we go there to win, there's no doubt.”

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