Preview: Pools v Sheffield United U23s

Craig Hignett, Hartlepool United Manager

Craig Hignett talks tactics and team news ahead of Saturday’s home pre-season friendly against Sheffield United Under-23s (3pm kick-off) as the new season edges ever closer.

After rotating his squad at half-time in the majority of the friendlies so far, the Pools boss will now be looking to increase the amounts of minutes they have on the pitch in readiness for the big kick-off.

“There are a lot of the players who have now already played 60 minutes in some games,” he told us.

“Kenton has played a 90, Kitch has played a 90 and Peter Kioso has had a lot of minutes too but now we have to move it on a stage to give people more game time.

“This Saturday’s friendly is a good time to do that and I am looking forward to what will be an interesting contest against Sheffield United’s Under-23s because they have some talented players.

“We’re reasonably happy with the way things have developed through pre-season so now it’s about making sure we do everything right over the next two weeks to make sure we’re ready to fire.”

Hignett has revealed that Luke Williams is set to feature for the first time this pre-season against The Blades on Saturday but Ryan Donaldson remains on the sidelines recovering from a calf problem.

Left-back Romoney Crichlow-Noble remains in training with Pools from Huddersfield Town and will play a part once again this weekend after featuring against York City on Wednesday.

Luke Molynuex won’t be involved against Sheffield United after picking up an injury during the midweek trip to Bootham Crescent, though thankfully X-rays confirmed no fracture for the winger.