Injured pair should be fit for Hartlepool v Colchester opener

Pools right-back Carl Magnay takes on Scunthorpe
Pools right-back Carl Magnay takes on Scunthorpe
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Hartlepool United’s absent and injured stars should be fit for Saturday’s League Two curtain-raiser with Colchester United.

Pools were minus two of their expected League Two XI, Matthew Bates (ill) and NIcky Featherstone (groin) for the final pre-season friendly, a 1-0 weekend defeat to Scunthorpe.

Carl Magnay hobbled off with a knee injury 17 minutes from time, though he is confident that he will be fit to take on the U’s, if selected.

Boss Craig Hignett said he was taking no risks with either Bates or Featherstone at the weekend.

“Batesy phoned in on the morning to say he wasn’t feeling well,” said the manager who expressed his pleasure at the Toto Nsiala-Rob Jones combination who were at the heart of the defence.

“He came in but looked terrible, so we sent him home – we didn’t want the bug spreading.

“But I have a squad in which people can come in in all positions. Look at Rob with Toto, how good were they as a pair? The way they pLayed certainly gave me food for thought.”

Featherstone would be a huge miss should he fail to respond to treatment.

But Hignett added: “We rested Nicky, who felt his groin was a bit tight, but, fingers crossed, he will be all right.”

Pools: Carson, Magnay (Richards 73), Nsiala, Jones (Harrison 85), Carroll, Woods (Donnelly 77), Deverdics (Laurent 64), Hawkins, Alessandra (Oates 86), Amond (Thomas 64), Paynter. Sub not used: Bartlett

Scunthorpe: Daniels, Clarke, (Goode 60) Mirfin, Townsend, Adelakun (Williams 62), Bishop, Dawson, Morris, Hopper (Holmes 83), Van Veen. Goal: van Veen 10. Att: 1,136