HARTLEPOOL boss Neale Cooper is set to recall Simon Walton at Bournemouth tomorrow.
The Scot could sacrifice one of his attacking personnel in favour of an extra midfielder against the free-spending Cherries, who now have Harry Redknapp on board as a football advisor.
They picked up their first victory of the season at Yeovil Town last weekend and chief scout Paul Baker has returned a cautionary report on the southerners’ credentials.
That looks set to tilt Cooper’s thinking going into the game and Walton could come into contention in a bid to strengthen the midfield ranks.
The 24-year-old has been replaced by Paul Murray in the heart of engine-room during the past two matches but he played the full 90 minutes of the midweek reserve-team defeat at Oldham Athletic. And Cooper says he has seen a positive reaction from Walton in light of his demotion to the substitutes’ bench.
“I was at the reserve game during the week and Simon and Ritchie (Humphreys) both played well and were the only two positives really,” he said, reflecting on that 2-1 defeat.
“Simon looks a lot sharper and fitter, which he had to be, and I’ve told him that. He’s worked really hard since I’ve brought Paul back.
“That’s what I want – a reaction from boys. I thought Simon had to be a bit fitter. But he’s in the squad and we could use him.”