Paul Hartley to make decision on ex-Kilmarnock defender ahead of Hartlepool United's trip to Walsall

Paul Hartley says he will make a decision on defender Euan Murray as Hartlepool United prepare for their opening game of the season at Walsall.

Murray, a new signing at the Suit Direct Stadium this summer after arriving from Kilmarnock, has missed a large part of the pre-season schedule with a hamstring injury.

The defender completed 90 minutes in Pools’ opening friendly against Hibernian as part of a warm weather training camp but did not feature again until being handed 45 minutes in their final pre-season fixture against Sunderland.

But Hartley has suggested the Scotsman came through that game unscathed and has been back in full training over the last 10 days ahead of the trip to the Midlands.

Euan Murray has missed the majority of pre-season with a hamstring injury. Picture by Martin Swinney

“That will be up to me. I’ll decide if he’s fit enough to play,” Hartley told The Mail.

“He’s come through [the injury]. He’s been training the last 10-12 days. He’s a fit boy and has done a lot of work.”

One player who will definitely miss out is loan signing Rollin Menayese with the defender unable to feature against his parent club.

And Hartley has said there has been no intel given on the Saddlers from Menayese.

Rollin Menayese will be unavailable for Hartlepool United due to the loan agreement in place with Walsall. Picture by Martin Swinney

“None. I think that would be really unfair. We’ve done it all ourselves,” explained Hartley.

“We know what we have to do. We’ve not relied on anybody. We’ve done all the work ourselves through going to games and watching all the footage of Walsall.

“We do think they might play in a certain way, but they can change. They’re flexible in their work but we think we’re well covered.”

Pools striker Marcus Carver could be one player to miss the trip to Walsall as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury.

Meanwhile full-back Jamie Sterry may be in contention having missed the majority of pre-season himself through injury.

“Rollin won't play because of his loan agreement with Walsall. We may have one or two others, but we’re really healthy at this moment in time,” said Hartley.

“We’re in a good place compared to where we were five or six weeks ago. I think we’re still short in certain areas but we’re going with a strong squad.

“We’re going to be positive and we’re going to try and win the game.”