Hartlepool name strong reserve line-up but Collins insists it isn’t a punishment for FA Cup defeat

Sam Collins on the sideline against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins on the sideline against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID
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CARETAKER boss Sam Collins has named a strong team for Hartlepool United’s reserve match against Scunthorpe - but he insists it is not a punishment for the FA Cup defeat to Blyth Spartans.

Pools were humiliated 2-1 on Friday night in the second round of the FA Cup by non-league Spartans and several of the players have today been named in the reserve side to take on Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park (KO 2pm).

But Collins - placed in caretaker charge after the sacking of Paul Murray - said he plans to use the game as an extra training session ahead of the weekend trip to Burton Albion in League Two.

Former player and current academy coach Ian McGuckin will join Collins in the dugout.

Collins said: “We want to work on a few things for Saturday.

“This is not a punishment for the players following Friday’s defeat or anything like that – it’s simply that we have a big game on Saturday and rather than get everyone in training we’re going to do it in a game situation.

“I think it will be better than working on some of those things in training so that’s the only reason we’ve decided to do it.”

The match is a Final Third Development League Cup game.

Pools: Flinders, Richards, Bates, Austin, Holden, Featherstone, Woods, Dolan, Franks, Hawkins, Harewood.

Subs: Jones, Walker, Compton, Smith, Fenwick.