Same again delight for Hartlepool United as Oxford head north

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HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is ready to say “same again” for the third match in a row tomorrow.

After a victory against Accrington Stanley and a draw at Bristol Rovers, the Pools chief has the luxury of sending out an unchanged XI at home to Oxford United, including the in-form front pairing of Andy Monkhouse and Luke James.

Skipper Antony Sweeney is set to continue on the bench, but there is still no place for youngster Brad Walker, who is struggling to shake off an ankle problem.

Sweeney managed 73 minutes of Wednesday’s reserve-team victory over Scunthorpe, though he did report some stiffness in his calf yesterday.

“Antony played for the reserves, but his calf tightened up a bit towards the end,” said Cooper.

“Yesterday was about recovery and we’ll have to see if he’s involved tomorrow.

“He’s been out a few weeks, so 75 minutes for the reserves is good.

“As captain of the club, I could see how frustrated he has been of late, so it’s good for him to be out there.”

While Pools have an unchanged XI, Oxford boss Chris Wilder is not so fortunate after being hit by suspension and injury.

Striker Dave Kitson, incredibly, has already amassed five bookings and is suspended, along with defender Andy Whing, who was sent off against Chesterfield last Saturday.

Jake Wright (groin) and James Constantine (foot) are also absent.

Cooper added: “Oxford have been doing well, it’s a big game.

“I know that Chris Wilder was less than happy after the Chesterfield game last week.

“They feel as though they have to quickly bounce back from that defeat and build on a good start to the season.”