CRAIG HIGNETT admits allowing Jake Cassidy to leave Hartlepool United was an easy decision.

The striker spent four months of the season on loan at Maidstone, before returning to the Super 6 Stadium. He scored for Pools against the Stones on his first game back, but chased a return to the Kent club.

Out of contract in the summer and one of Pools' highest earners, the striker has been critical of Pools and the negativity around the club after returning to Maidstone for the rest of the season on loan.

And, speaking at his press conference this morning, Hignett admitted: “Jake has gone, he won’t be coming back now. Jake came back, but then expressed a desire to leave and we wouldn’t stand in his way – we don’t want players who don’t want to be here. They wanted him back, we were more than happy to let him go.''

Pools are back in action on Saturday, when National League leaders Leyton Orient visit the Super 6 Stadium.

Pools were without a game last weekend after their trip to Ebbsfleet was postponed. Both Carl Magnay (knee) and Liam Noble (calf) could be fit for the weekend.

Hignett said: “We had a good result last time out, and we have had a game called off which means another long trip to fit in midweek, so last week being off was a hindrance.

“Carl trained at the back end of last week, so he would have been touch and go for the game. So now we will see if he’s OK for this week.

“Liam Noble is the same, he could have a chance for this weekend.

“That’s the only positive from the last week. We’ve not been able to train on grass, because of the weather so it’s been a mix and match week.

“When we have been able to train on the 3G pitch we have had some good stuff done and we have some good facilities at East Durham College.

“The problem with a 3G pitch is that some players don’t like it and it affects their joints, but we have to get on with it.’’