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13 February 2014

Hartlepool United Away

Newport County AFC make the 570 mile round trip to Hartlepool United this weekend as they are back in Sky Bet League 2 action after recent postponements. 

Manager Justin Edinburgh will have 22 players to choose from for the journey to the North East of England in a season where filling the 7 spaces allowed on the substitute bench has been a rarity! Despite this encouraging news there are still key personnel that have arrived on the treatment table since the 0-0 draw at Southend United on 31st January. 

Both goalkeepers are unavailable for selection as Lenny Pidgeley injured his ankle during the Southend game and Jamie Stephens has a knee injury sustained in training last Friday. Edinburgh moved swiftly to sign Conor Thompson who was previously with Torquay United, and Elliott Parish on an emergency loan from Bristol City. 

In addition to new keepers, County also signed Aaron Holloway on a non-contract basis after the young Welsh striker was released by Bristol City in January. Holloway, who has represented Wales at U19 and U17 level impressed in training recently and is in contention for Saturday’s game. 

Chris Zebroski will also make the trip to Hartlepool after come through training this week for the first time since his injury at Braintree Town in the FA Cup on November 9th. With Byron Anthony and Max Porter available, only Ismail Yakubu misses out on travelling as a pre-cautionary measure after taking a knock to the top of his foot in training. Yakubu should be available by next week. It will also be great to see Aaron O’Connor on the coach with the rest of the squad as he continues his rehabilitation and is closing in on full training with the lads. 

‘The players have been superb and are looking forward to getting back into a routine of playing games starting at Hartlepool. Their attitude has been first class. It is pleasing to get Elliott and Conor in so quickly. Holloway has done ever so well in training and a couple of friendly games and it is another boost for us to have secured his services.’ 

‘We had a lot of set-backs last season and came through them. I am sure we will do so again.’

‘I watched Hartlepool last Saturday at Dagenham, it will be a tough encounter but we are desperate to play. The strength in depth now means that people have to step up to the plate as we now have real competition with a near full strength squad to choose from.’

Hartlepool United won their last game 2-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge whilst their last home game against Scunthorpe United finished goal-less. Manager Colin Cooper is sweating on the fitness of Captain Neil Austin who injured his toe in the 2-0 win last week and whether or not defender Mike Duckworth can return to the side after a recent double hernia operation. 


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