Preview: Pools v Macclesfield Town

Victoria Park, Hartlepool United

Craig Hignett says Macclesfield Town will offer the perfect challenge when they are the visitors for Saturday’s home pre-season friendly (3pm kick-off).

The Pools boss has managed to add another friendly to the schedule after revealing a behind-closed-doors fixture at Sunderland on Monday so he’s expected to split his squad between the two games.

The double-header will give Hignett the ideal opportunity to give the majority of his squad ninety minutes of action with just a week left to wait until the National League season gets underway.

Sol Campbell led Macclesfield away from relegation danger in League Two last term and Hignett reckons The Silkmen will be good opponents for Pools in the run-up to the fresh campaign.

“It’s a perfect game for us – it’s almost like a dress rehearsal in a way,” he explained.

“Obviously we thought this would be our last pre-season game but we’ve managed to get a behind-closed-doors game at Sunderland on Monday so that’s good for our preparation too.

“Macclesfield will give us an excellent test though – they will come here and be of similar standard, fitness and organisation that we can expect to come up against in the new season.

“We’ve done well so far during the course of pre-season so it’s just about making sure we keep doing everything right over the weekend and then in the build-up to next Saturday now.”

Ryan Donaldson remains sidelined with a calf injury so won’t feature on Saturday, while Luke Molyneux (leg) and Josh Hawkes (hamstring) will also both miss out.