MICK Wadsworth admits that his returning stars will find it difficult to win back a place in the starting line-up, writes CRAIG HOPE.
Pools travel to Scunthorpe tonight for their first round Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash (7pm).
Wadsworth will make changes, but says the players who were absent for Saturday’s 3-1 win at Rochdale will have to prove they are worth a starting jersey over the coming weeks.
“I will make changes tonight, I’ve got to because a few lads are carrying knocks, but it will still be a strong team,” said the Pools boss.
“Thankfully we’ve got a two or three coming back from injury and suspension but they might find it difficult to get back in the side over the next couple of weeks.
“We’ve had our problems with players missing this season, but still we’re unbeaten and the lads who have come in have done magnificently.
“That’s testament to the strength of our squad now and I believe we’ve got a real healthy competition this season.
“People maybe thought we would struggle when we lost a few players, but we’ve just got on with it and I must applaud the players for their resolve and commitment – they’ve been terrific.”
Pools were without five first-teamers for their first victory of the season at Spotland – skipper Sam Collins, Colin Larkin, Antony Sweeney, Nobby Solano and Nathan Luscombe, who is now free of suspension and is expected to feature against The Iron.
H Jon Shaw’s goal earned Gateshead a 1-0 win over Grimsby in the Blue Square Bet Premier yesterday.