Hartlepool United’s Collins won’t except any excuses

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SAM Collins will not tolerate any excuses over an artificial pitch when his Hartlepool United side travel to Consett tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).

Pools reserves have a potential Durham Cup banana skin at the Ebac Northern League high-fliers.

Not only are Consett going along strongly in the First Division of the famous old league, they have the advantage of playing on their home ground.

And that advantage is even more significant given the tie is being played on their new and state of the art artificial 3G grass.

Collins, who combines a coaching role with the reserves with his playing duties,is looking for victory, no matter what the surface they are playing on.

“If anything I think it will help us,” said the veteran centre-half.

“At this time of the season, conditions sometimes vary from ground to ground.

“But the roll and bounce on this pitch will be true and should be good for football.

“We often train on the 4G pitch at the training ground at Maiden Castle, so playing on this surface shouldn’t be a problem.”

Pools are looking for a Northern League double after winning 5-2 at Brandon United in the previous round, a tie which featured a series of stunning goals.

“When we played at Brandon in the last round, no disrespect to them, the conditions were not the best,” added Collins.

“I think we could probably have won by more.

“Consett will be more of a test, they have a good side, and a couple of lads who’ve been at Hartlepool.

“The lads are looking forward to it.”

Pools are likely to field a predominantly youthful side at Belle View this evening.

With a vital League Two match at home to Rochdale on Saturday, boss Colin Cooper is unlikely to send many of his first-team men.

Cooper and assistant Craig Hignett put the squad through a double session at Maiden Castle so they may check on Jordan Richards today to see when and where the young prospect may play.

Compton, injured in the Boxing Day draw at Chesterfield, will probably not be used tonight at Belle View.