Preview: Shildon v Pools

Craig Hignett, Hartlepool United Manager

Craig Hignett is looking forward to another good friendly challenge at Shildon on Saturday (3pm kick-off) with the majority of his players once again expected to play at least 45 minutes.

Pools travel to Dean Street for their second run-out of pre-season looking to build on the many positives that came from Tuesday evening’s 4-0 win at Billingham Town.

“I expect another tough game up there this weekend,” admitted Hignett.

“We went to Shildon last pre-season and it was a decent test for us so I want more of the same this weekend when we’ll get 45 minutes in to most of the players.

“It’s always good to have another game so quickly after Tuesday in pre-season but after the weekend we will start to up the minutes the lads are playing.

“Pre-season is there for trying things – different shapes, different players, different combinations – so we will be doing that again on Saturday.”

Midfield man Gus Mafuta is expected to play some part on Saturday after joining the Club last week, while Hignett has confirmed that trialists Jason Kennedy, Liam Smith and Jack Spark will all also be involved once again.

However, Fraser Kerr has picked up a slight ankle injury and is therefore a doubt, while Ryan Donaldson and Luke Williams aren’t quite ready for friendly action either so won’t be in contention.