The significant setback suffered by Hartlepool United ahead of Bromley defeat
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Hartlepool’s plans had to be adjusted just hours before kick-off at Victoria Park when centre-back Onariase had to withdraw from Askey’s squad due to an illness.
Although Hartlepool’s defensive record this season is not one to shout about, summer signing Onariase has, perhaps, been Pools’ standout defender having started in all but three National League games. And the 27-year-old proved to be a miss against Bromley as Askey’s side conceded another four goals – only next week’s opponents Fylde have conceded more this season.
Onariase was replaced by fellow summer signing Kieran Burton who made just his second start for the club after being recalled from a loan spell at Darlington recently. Burton joined Joe Mattock and Sunderland loanee Zak Johnson in defence as Pools’ back three became relatively inexperienced, something which Askey highlighted after the defeat. And the Hartlepool boss admits the withdrawal of Onariase contributed to their struggles.
“We weren’t expecting Manny to pull out. You can’t prepare for it,” said Askey.
"He started throwing up around about half 11 this morning. And there’s not a lot you can do if that starts happening, but these things do happen. Kieran came in, he’s seen what we’ve done in training and understands what we want, but it upsets the plans a little bit and it suddenly becomes an inexperienced back three.
"But that shouldn’t affect you that much that, defensively, you look so poor.”