Hartlepool United travel to Mansfield on Friday evening looking to kick-start their season under Interim Manager, Keith Curle. Pools were held to a 0-0 draw last time out, denied by a stubborn Gillingham defence.
Mansfield are currently sixth in League Two after winning six of their first 10 games this season. They’re unbeaten in their last four league games, winning three times and drawing once. Led by manager Nigel Clough, the Stags’ side features former Newcastle defender James Perch and two-time Pools sharpshooter Rhys Oates. Best remembered for his goals in the 2020/21 season, Oates was instrumental in Pools being promoted from the National League.
The sides have met 92 times in first-class matches, with Pools winning 30 of the previous fixtures. Mansfield have won 44 times, while 18 matches have ended in a draw. Last season, Mansfield were 3-2 victors on Boxing Day, despite goals from Luke Molyneux and Nicky Featherstone, and the sides played out a 2-2 draw in the reverse fixture. George Lapslie and James Perch scored early on for the Stags, but quick fire goals from Joe Grey and Luke Molyneux ensured the point was shared.
Jamie Sterry missed out last week with a niggle, and the influential wing-back will want to be back in the side as quickly as possible. Nicky Featherstone is a long-term absentee, and Curle has a full squad to choose from otherwise.
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Keith Curle gives his thoughts ahead of facing his former side. You can watch the full video here.