Hartlepool United’s Hughes keen to find spot for Austin

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JOHN Hughes says he can find a place in his Hartlepool United team for both Jordan Richards and Neil Austin.

The two right-backs have so far been vying for that one position.

Richards has found himself in possession of the jersey of late having kept his starting spot despite Austin’s return from a four-game ban.

The 19-year-old has impressed and Hughes admits it would have been harsh had he dropped the academy graduate.

Austin (left) has had to make do with substitute appearances in midfield during the last two matches, although Hughes sees a scenario which could accommodate both players.

“We’re looking now at Aussie going back in at right-back and Jordan maybe going wide right,” Hughes said today.

“If you get the ball to Jordan further up the park and he’s wrapping that foot around the ball then that’s quality crosses we’ll be getting.

“He’s played with a real enthusiasm and has done well, his deliveries are very good.”

Austin picked up his second red card of the season at the beginning of Hughes’ reign and he was only free from suspension last weekend.

Hughes, though, likes what he sees from the former Barnsley man.

“Aussie is one that I want in the team,” he said. “He’s got that streak in him – he trains the way you want and he inspires you. He’s a leader of men.

“I had to be fair – did Jordan do anything to leave him out of the team? No, he deserved to stay in.

“I’m the kind who says ‘get the jersey and keep it’ – Jordan has certainly done that.”

Meanwhile, confirmation arrived yesterday that striker Colin Nish has extended his loan stay with SPL side Dundee until the end of the season.