Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Mighty Fight for Pool Places

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Mighty Fight for Pool Places

Article excerpt

HARTLEPOOL United's impressive start to the season has left a number of players champing at the bit. Now Mick Wadsworth is hoping some can take their chance at home to Wycombe Wanderers today, writes STUART RAYNER. The Teessiders trimmed their squad numbers this summer, releasing 10 players and bringing in four (out-of-contract Stephen Wright has since joined too). Despite that, Wadsworth has somehow conjured a squad which feels stronger than last season's.

With Nolberto Solano out for two or three weeks with a hamstring injury, and more changes possible after Hartlepool's unbeaten start to League One ended in back-to-back defeats, that depth could come in handy this afternoon.

Summer signing James Poole is in line to replace Solano today, as he did at Meadow Lane on Sunday, after scoring four for the reserves at Bradford City in midweek.

Evan Horwood is another pushing for a recall at left-back, while former Sunderland defender Wright, Andy Monkhouse and Nathan Luscombe might again have to settle for places on the bench.

"We've got people pushing for places," said Wadsworth (pictured right). "We've got good players now and when you look on the bench there are players there you think can make a difference."

Ex-Carlisle United and Gretna full-back Horwood has impressed from the bench recently, and Wadsworth admitted he does not get much peace when the man he managed in the Scottish Premier League is on the sidelines.

"He's a chirpy chappy at the best of times," he commented.

"It's only a couple of weeks ago he came on and won us the game at Bournemouth.

"I'm sure he'll be back in the side soon and he will have an important part to play." The main cause of the Hartlepoolborn player's frustration at the moment is the versatile Ritchie Humphreys, a regular starter having played a bit-part last term. "The thing with Ritchie is he's had a really good summer and a good pre-season," Wadsworth said of his player-coach. …

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