Hartlepool United fringe players can push case

Sam Collins during the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins during the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID
Have your say

SAM Collins is looking to build momentum and create a winning culture right throughout Hartlepool United.

The club’s reserve team return to action tomorrow afternoon away to Doncaster Rovers (KO 1pm) in the Final Third Development League East Division and Collins wants the fringe players to push their case for a first team start.

Pools climbed off the bottom of Sky Bet League Two at the weekend with an impressive 2-1 win away at Exeter City.

Now the club’s caretaker manager wants to see that momentum continue tomorrow afternoon with the second string at Cantley Park training ground on Wednesday lunchtime.

The 37-year-old reserves manager is also looking after the first team, alongside Stephen Pears, following the resignation of former Pools boss Colin Cooper earlier this month.

Collins has told SportMail those players that didn’t start at Exeter will feature tomorrow, so Jonathan Franks, Darren Holden, Jordan Richards and Brad Walker are expected to start.

“Hopefully the reserves can go and get a good result at Doncaster tomorrow,” said Collins.

“Right throughout the club we want to build some momentum by winning matches. The young lads are doing really well and pushing for their places.

“If the older lads are not on their toes and I am still looking after things, then they know I am likely to give the younger lads a go.

“Everyone who didn’t start the game at Exeter will play tomorrow as long as they are fit and well.”

Meanwhile, experienced striker Marlon Harewood, who has been dropped from the last two first team matches, could also feature.

The reserves won their opening match of the season, beating Burton Albion 4-3 thanks to a Michael Woods hat-trick.

Last time out young striker Jordan Jewson and Holden were both on target but the reserves were beaten 4-2 at Rotherham United’s Roundwood training complex.

Pools (from): Barber, Rowbotham, Turnbull, Nearney, Carr, Green, Holden, Smith, Jewson, Walker, Franks, Richards, Armstrong, Mitchinson, Blackford, Wood, Harewood.

l ON-LOAN Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman was an unused substitute in England Under-19s 8-0 demolition of Luxembourg.

The highly-rated 17-year-old stopper, who has been on loan at Pools since mid-September, was named on the bench for the European Championship qualifying match after boss Sean O’Driscoll made five changes to the team that beat Belarus 3-0.

England Under-19s now have six points from their opening two qualifiers and face one last game, against Belgium tomorrow.

The top two nations will progress to the elite qualifying round next spring.

Woodman missed Pools’ 2-1 win at Exeter City on Saturday due to international duty.