Hartlepool United’s injured duo to return

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HARTLEPOOL United will be boosted by the return of Gary Liddle and James Poole for tomorrow’s League One clash with Stevenage.

Liddle has been sidelined for five matches while the injury-plagued Poole made a goal-scoring comeback against MK Dons only to damage his thigh next time out at Huddersfield.

If the pair come through training today at Maiden Castle with no ill-effects, there is every chance Cooper will throw the pair into the visit of play-off chasing Stevenage to Victoria Park (kick-off 3pm).

“James has improved this week and Gary is a lot better,” Cooper said.

“We’ve missed Lidds – I really like the way he plays and I’d love to get him back tomorrow.

“That would be a massive boost for us.”

Liddle would come in alongside Paul Murray and Antony Sweeney in the midfield with Poole likely to go up front though Cooper has the option of Adam Boyd after his fine display for Pools in Wednesday night’s reserve-team derby victory over Middlesbrough.

“It would be nice to get back to winning ways tomorrow.

“And if we have James and Lidds back and a sharper Boydie, then I’ll a lot more positive than I was last week at Walsall, although I was delighted with the point we got there.

“If we can have Gary back with Paul Murray and Sweens that’s a very good engine room we’ve got.”

Cooper has been lifted by news that the calf injury picked up by captain Sam Collins in the warm-up at the Banks’s Stadium is not as serious as first thought.

It was feared the 34-year-old had suffered a tear or pull but tests reveal the damage is not as severe.