Preview: Hartlepool United looking to make it three wins from three in pre-season

Hartlepool United will complete their Northern League friendly tour at Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday evening (7:30pm kick-off).

By Dominic Scurr
Tuesday, 09 July, 2019, 06:00
Luke James in action at Shildon. Picture by Frank Reid

Craig Hignett’s side look to continue their storming start to pre-season at Moore Lane (DL5 5AG) after beating Billingham Town 4-0 before their impressive 6-0 victory at Shildon on Saturday.

With 10 goals scored and none conceded in two games, Pools will be full of confidence going into the match against the Northern League Division One outfit ahead of their big home game against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Having only faced sides four tiers lower than them on the football pyramid, Hartlepool are yet to be truly tested as fitness and confidence building remains the focus.

Ahead of the match at Newton Aycliffe, United manager Hignett said: “I just want us to keep it going, the same attitude, the same desire and be ruthless in everything that you do.

“Pre-season is all about getting fit and that’ll continue. You can only beat what’s in front of you but we’ve done it really convincingly so far.

“That’s not the standard we’re going to face when we get into it but all we can do is build a bit of confidence and a way of playing as well as build a belief in the players.

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“I think we’ve got that and the big thing for me is the fitness - already with three, four weeks left, we look really fit and sharp.

“Fitness wise, Luke Williams has trained everyday and is chomping at the bit to get going. We’re trying to manage it and keep the reins on him.

“Ryan Donaldson is due to come back after a calf strain. Fraser Kerr turned his ankle last week but it’s not serious and he’ll be back training on Monday.

“All those lads will come back and we’ve got 21 who are training at the minute which is good and most of them haven’t missed a day.”

Ben Killip took a knock to the head on Saturday and was brought off as a precaution. Young goalkeeper Brad Young is set to feature this evening.

Cash turnstiles will be in operation at Moore Lane with tickets priced at £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.