Richards hopes to be Fleet of foot for Pools

Jordan Richards. Photograph by Frank Reid
Jordan Richards. Photograph by Frank Reid
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JORDAN Richards says his Hartlepool United team-mates are looking to put right the two successive home defeats with a win away to Fleetwood Town tomorrow.

So far in 2014, Colin Cooper’s Pools side have suffered back-to-back 3-0 home defeats to Bury and Rochdale in Sky Bet League Two but the players have a chance to turn around their fortunes away to promotion chasing Fleetwood.

Pools are lying in 16th place, eight points from the play-off spots and five above the dreaded drop zone, while Town have had a good season so far and are sixth going into the match, just three points off automatic promotion.

But that doesn’t phase Pools right-back Richards, set to feature again after regular Michael Duckworth was ruled out for a month after undergoing an operation for a double hernia.

The 20-year-old said Cooper’s camp is looking to put the past two defeats behind them and if they do concede first, to not crumble, as they did in the last match against Dale in which Pools conceded three second-half goals.

Sunderland-born Richards said: “It will be a tough game but the lads have to go out there, everyone together, and put these last two games, where we have picked up defeats, right.

“Also, not to concede the three goals and if we do concede the first one then to come back from that and make sure that it doesn’t go on to become two and three.

“That is what the lads are looking to do and the gaffer mentioned that afterwards and hopefully we can do that away to Fleetwood.”

Richards started his first match of the season against Dale and was solid in the full-back position, although didn’t get forward as much as Duckworth does.

The utility man, who is also comfortable in midfield, does however pose a threat from set-pieces and his 15th minute free-kick last Saturday almost gave Pools the lead but it struck the upright.

He is now set for an extended run in the team after former Bradford Park Avenue star Duckworth, 21, was ruled out for at least a month with a double hernia, ironically the same injury Richards has just come back from himself.

Cooper this weeksaid that he has “no qualms” over giving Richards a run in the first-team and said he would have played the majority of matches anyway had they not signed Duckworth in the summer, following a successful trial.

Duckworth’s surgery on Tuesday night was successful and club physio Ian Gallagher has been told that the German-born defender can begin his rehabilitation programme early next week.