Hignett full of faith in Bartlett if former Sunderland keeper misses out on Pools’ Doncaster test

Adam Bartlett makes a save against Cheltenham last week after coming on to replace the injured Trevor Carson. Picture by Frank Reid

Adam Bartlett makes a save against Cheltenham last week after coming on to replace the injured Trevor Carson. Picture by Frank Reid

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Adam Bartlett can not only step in for Trevor Carson, he has the ability to keep him out the Hartlepool United team, according to Craig Hignett.

Carson is rated as touch-and-go for tomorrow’s League Two trip to Doncaster Rovers.

And while the ex-Sunderland goalie would be a miss for Pools, Hignett is far from concerned.

He thinks he has the perfect replacement in the shape of Bartlett, who was outstanding stepping into the side last weekend against Cheltenham.

Hignett even believes Bartlett has the class to keep Northern Ireland international call-up Carson out of the Pools first-team picture.

“I am confident, whether Trev makes it or not, that Barts is a keeper who can not only deputise but also keep his place,” said Hignett.

“Last week, Barts made an outstanding save.

“It was the only real save he had to make in the game.

“It was a world-class save. He is a goalkeeper with a lot of quality.”

Manager Hignett revealed the club will give the Northern Irishman every opportunity to be declared fit for the clash.

This comes after the news that a scan revealed the 28-year-old suffered no major damage to his finger last weekend.

The goalie was taken off after just 35 minutes of the home win over Cheltenham last week, having dislocated his little finger.

The injury forced him to withdraw from Michael O’Neill’s international squad for the Croatia friendly in Belfast, a match in which Carson was set to make his international bow.

On the injury, and his chances of making the trip to South Yorkshire this weekend, Hignett said: “His finger was in a bad way when he came off on Saturday.

“He has been and had treatment, has been away with Northern Ireland and come back.

“He has had a scan and he has no major damage. It is just a real sore one.

“We will have to see how it goes.”

It seems almost certain that Rob Jones will again miss out this weekend, though.

Hignett has revealed the real reason as to why he has not brought the towering 36-year-old back into action after his hip problem.

“Rob is almost there,” said Hignett.

“He’s worked really hard lately and is a really good pro who is frustrated at being close, but not quite there.

“Rather than risk him in a game and set him back weeks again we want to be sure he’s 100 per cent before he plunge him in again.

“Batesy (Matthew Bates) being fit gives him some breathing space and the last thing we want to do is push him back when he’s not ready.”