Ian McGuckin has backed his young Reserve Team to rise to the challenge when they travel to Dunston UTS in the semi-final of the Durham County Challenge Cup on Wednesday night (7.30pm kick-off).
Pools Reserves have enjoyed a fantastic run in the competition and the young line-up defied the odds to defeat South Shields on penalties at Victoria Park in the quarter-finals.
Now McGuckin has told them that they must meet those same standards again during the encounter at the UTS Stadium with Consett awaiting the victors in a Final which will be staged at The Vic.
“It would be brilliant to get to the Final, especially with it being at our home ground,” admitted McGuckin.
“The South Shields game was really tough but the young side we had out put in a fantastic performance and we don’t want to let ourselves down now.
“We want to go and win the tie at Dunston but we know it’s going to be tough because they’re a well-established Northern League team.
“I know their manager Chris Swailes quite well and he has lots of experience so he will have them organised and up for the game – there’s no doubt it will be very tough.
“We’re just glad to get the game on because it’s been called-off so many times – now we’re really looking forward to it and it’s another opportunity for the youngsters to make a statement.”
Jack Munns is set to play some part in the game after recovering from surgery to remove a tumour from his mouth, while fellow First Teamers Ryan Catterick and Josh Hawkes are also in the travelling squad.
Kick-off at the UTS Stadium is 7.30pm and admission prices are £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.
Pools (from): Catterick, Stephenson, Boyle, Holliday, Owen, Bayne, Miller, Jackson, Munns, Orrell, Robinson, Weirs, Short, Hawkes, Pritchard, Travers.