Hartlepool: United hand Hartley recall

Peter Hartley will earn an instant recall to the Hartlepool United starting line-up against Gillingham tonight.

Left-back Hartley has missed the last three games through suspension after an off-the-ball attempted headbutt towards Oldham skipper Sean Gregan earlier this month earned him a straight red card.

In Hartley's absence, the versatile Steve Haslam has started the last two games and produced solid displays at both Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers.

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But director of sport Chris Turner will put his faith in first-choice left-back Hartley with the 21-year-old set to provide more of an attacking contribution than Haslam.

Turner said: "Stevie has done well and is a good professional.

"He comes in and does a job for you.

"But Peter has got an edge going forward and we need a natural left-back in the side if we have got one available.

"He has done well this season and I know Stevie will be available to provide cover in three or four positions."

Hartley is expected to be the only change in the Pools line-up despite Turner's men going into tonight's clash on the back of three games within a week.

Turner stressed there were no signs of fatigue in training yesterday and will keep faith with the 4-5-1 system which brought much-improved performances, if not results, in the last two games.

"We have got a good level of fitness in the squad and I'm looking forward to tonight's game," he said.

"If we play like we did on Saturday, then we'll be okay."

Gillingham boss Mark Stimson is likely to name the same side which drew 0-0 with Colchester United on Saturday.

New loan signings Darren Dennehy, Rene Howe and Tristan Plummer should stay in the starting line-up as the Gills look for their first away win of the campaign.