Mark expects tough test at Victoria Park
Manager Mark Yates says he may take the opportunity to freshen up his side as Reds make their second marathon journey in the space of five days this weekend.
Having returned pointless from the 540-mile midweek excursion to Morecambe on Tuesday, when Reds were on the end of a somewhat harsh 3-1 defeat, they make the 600 mile round trip to Hartlepool on Saturday.
Mark said: “We got back at 4.30am on Wednesday and long journeys like that do take it out of you, and we’ve got another one this weekend now.
“But the good thing is we do have options now if we want to freshen things up. The two lads who came on at Morecambe – Shamir (Fenelon) and Luke (Rooney) both did well so they are options for me.
“We’re training on Friday afternoon and we’ll see how things are. But we have no fresh injuries to worry about and it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”
Reflecting on the midweek defeat Mark added: “I think we’ll play worse this season and win. Even at 2-0 I felt we could get back into the game but we were our own worst enemies in terms of the goals we conceded. That is an area where we have to tighten up – we have to make it harder for the opposition to score than we are at the moment.”
Hartlepool currently stand one place above Reds in 17th and on our previous visit to Victoria Park three years ago an early goal from Hope Akpan gave Reds a 1-0 win.
Mark added: “(Manager) Ronnie Moore did a fantastic job last season when he came in and he’s added a lot of players to their squad. As we’ve found, sometimes it takes time to settle things down but it’s going to be a tough game – as they all are in League 2.”