Craig Hignett has admitted that he will have a few selection problems to solve in the coming week after seeing a strong performance from his side in victory over Macclesfield Town on Saturday.
Pools were deserved 3-0 winners against the League Two outfit in what was their final pre-season friendly on home soil as preparations intensified ahead of next Saturday’s curtain-raiser.
Now Hignett will utilise Monday’s behind-closed-doors friendly at Sunderland to give more of his players ninety minutes before attempting to decide on a starting eleven for the opening day contest with Sutton United.
“I thought it was really good – everything we’ve asked them to do was on show today,” Hignett told Pools PlayerHD.
“We defended well, we handled set-pieces well, we looked a threat with our own set-pieces and we played some really good stuff which opened them up a couple of times.
“If I have a criticism it’s that sometimes we were a little bit sloppy, so we need to concentrate a little more and not let the opposition in to the game.
“We’ve got Luke Molyneux out, Ryan Donaldson hasn’t played and Josh Hawkes has done a hamstring – that’s without talking about the players I have left out today, so we have real strength in depth.
“It’s the first time I have had anything like that because if we had been without six or seven players last season we’d have struggled to field a team – it’s not like that now so it’s a headache for me but a nice one to have.
“I haven’t even played my eleven yet and, to be fair, it might have changed again after some the performances I’ve seen today.
“The lads know they have to fight for the jersey but they also know that everyone is important – we’re a real squad and the team spirit is fantastic.
“We look sharper, we look quicker and we have more legs in the squad which is evident to see; it’s all gone to plan, the lads look fit and ready so now we have a good week ahead.”