CRAIG Harrison’s defensive options are limited for the weekend. Hartlepool United go to Boreham Wood without a welter of players.

Keith Watson (knee), Carl Magnay (hernia), Michael Ledger (broken nose) and Liam Donnelly (international duty) are all absent.

That means Harrison’s back four picks itself – Kenton Richardson, Scott Harrison, Louis Laing and Blair Adams are his four recognised remaining defenders.

Loading article content

Sunderland loanee Ledger broke his nose at Torquay and has needed an operation to reset it.

“Ledger can play after this week, he had an operation on Monday and needs ten days to recover without any contact,’’ said Harrison. “He can train in the gym, but no contact for ten days, which keeps him out of the picture.’’

“It should be ten days or so with Mags before he’s back with the squad, Connor Newton played an hour for the reserves this week and Jake Cassidy is training this week with the fitness coach. Tomi (Adeloye) is back with the group and we are getting a few back now with competition.’’

Donnelly is a regular with Northern Ireland under-21s and will play in Albania tomorrow.

Harrison said: “Liam is away, he’s been excellent and he’s a very tenacious defender. It showed last week with the tackle which got him booked, a very fair and firm challenge and I wasn’t happy with a yellow card being shown for it.

“But he’s away this week and has played across the back four. He will be a miss, but Kenton played well at Morecambe last week at right-back.

“Take away the first seven minutes last week when no-one covered themselves in glory, Scott Loach aside, he did well. Kenton was against their most experienced player in Kevin Ellison and did well against him.

“He’s played seven or eight games in League Two and, for a young lad, he’s a great chance.

“The last few days in training have been positive, the lads are in a good place and together. Non-stop fun and laughter, but on the flip side they had a really tough session on Tuesday.’’