Michael Nelson had this to say on Hartlepool United's decision to allow players to leave including former Motherwell and Accrington Stanley man despite current injury concerns

Michael Nelson stands by Hartlepool United’s decision to let players leave during the January transfer window and beyond despite Pools currently suffering from something of an injury crisis.

By Joe Ramage
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 12:13 pm

Pools have now gone three successive games without being able to fill their substitutes bench with the full quota of seven players, following injuries to several key players over the last month.

Pools have been without the likes of captain Nicky Featherstone, goalkeeper Ben Killip, defenders Jamie Sterry, Timi Odusina, Gary Liddle and Neill Byrne,

Bryn Morris and strikers Luke Molyneux and Joe Grey at various stages over the last number of games, with Graeme Lee last week taking the decision to recall striker Olufela Olomola from his loan spell with Yeovil Town to help boost the numbers within the squad.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Gavan Holohan was one of the players allowed to leave Hartlepool United in recent months. (Credit: Will Matthews | MI News)

Sterry and Odusina both returned to the line-up at the weekend as Pools were comfortably beaten by Swindon Town but when asked whether or not the decision to let certain players move on in recent months was the correct one, Nelson suggests that is just the way football works sometimes.

“You can say that [it was easy in hindsight to let them go] definitely,” Nelson told The Mail.

“But then if you don’t have these injuries, and you’ve got everyone fit, and you’ve then got three or four players sitting in the stands who are probably thinking ‘we could have done this’ or ‘we could have done that.’

“It is what it is. We can’t change what has gone on. That’s the way it is unfortunately.

Hartlepool United's assistant manager Michael Nelson was asked about the decision to let players leave with Pools now facing injury concerns. (Credit: Michael Driver | MI News)

“The players who left in January, or since then, left and the players who came in have come in and that’s how it is.”

Of some of those players who have left since the January window, including the likes of Luke Hendrie, Zaine Francis-Angol and Gavan Holohan, Pools might have been in a better position to deal with their recent shortcomings had they been available.

Hendrie joined Bradford City late in the January window having made 11 appearances for Pools this season while fan favourite Holohan left for National League side Grimsby Town last month.

Francis-Angol completed a switch to Stockport County for the rest of the season on non-league deadline day to link back up with former Pools boss Dave Challinor but when asked, Nelson suggested the defender could have been a player they might have looked to bring back into the squad recently had the option been available to them.

“Possibly,” said Nelson.

“I’m not sure how long Zaine has been away but there’ll be a 28-day recall so he’d have to have been away that long before we recall him.

“It’s one of them where the last few games we’ve been unable to fill the bench so it always helps to have numbers because you never know what’s going to happen in a game, who’s going to get injured, or where you need to put somebody on.

“To have the bench full is better than to not, so we’ve looked at several options and obviously we’ve brought Fela back and hopefully he’ll make an impact.”