Monkhouse on brink of Hartlepool United rebirth

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ANDY Monkhouse is in line for a recall to Hartlepool United’s starting line-up for tomorrow’s League One visit of Leyton Orient, writes CRAIG HOPE.

The 32-year-old has found himself out of the side of late.

But, after coming off the bench to equalise at Swindon last week and having impressed in training, Monkhouse is set to be rewarded with his first start of 2013.

“Andy has been training well and he could definitely be one who comes back in,” boss John Hughes said. “He’s got a spark about him in training and I take my hat off to him.

“He’s been on the bench, but he’s come in and been bubbly and been supportive of his team-mates. He came on and scored a goal at Swindon and was very close to starting on Tuesday against Portsmouth.

“He can play in a number of positions – down either flank cutting in or through the middle. He’s got a massive part to play.”

Ritchie Humphreys could make way for Monkhouse, with Hughes promising a more adventurous approach.

The Scot was frustrated by Pools’ offensive efforts during Tuesday’s Pompey stalemate.

Concerned by “mental fatigue” during that game, Hughes’s players only returned to Maiden Castle this morning.

“We gave them two days off,” he explained. “We need to trust them because they need to know what is at stake. They’ve got to come back in recharged and with their minds fresh and ready to go. I’m hoping they take that as a reward.”

Veteran striker Steve Howard returns to the squad after a hamstring strain, but Tony Sweeney (knee) is out.

H Pools are set to sign trialist Dennis Knight after boss Hughes likened him to former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi.

The 19-year-old – released by Newcastle – has been training with Pools and scored twice for the reserves against Grimsby.

“Dennis did exceptionally well,” Hughes said. “He reminds me of Rossi – he’s got the same stature and physique – he can see a pass, has a wand of a left foot and can score a goal.”