ANTONY SWEENEY has told his Hartlepool United players to prepare for a physical onslaught when they take on Wycombe Wanderers for a place in the FA Cup second round tonight.

Having drawn 2-2 in the original tie at Victoria Park, Pools head to Adams Park for a replay, with the winners due to take on Lincoln City in round two.

Wycombe have a reputation for being one of the most physically-imposing sides in the whole of the Football League, and while Pools made a decent job of handling their opponents on home soil, Sweeney is anticipating an even more challenging examination this evening.

“It’ll be a totally different game,” said Pools’ interim boss. “I’m pretty sure they are going to load it on us. I’m pretty sure they will have players back that didn’t play at our place, some good players so we’ve got to stand up to that threat.

“I think it’s going to be balls loaded into our box. We haven’t dealt with those types of situations anywhere near enough in the last three or four games, hence the goals against record, so that’s going to be put to test.

“We’ll have to pick a team that is capable of doing that, capable of standing up tall, going man for man, defending your 18-yard box, but also capable of playing when we can because we can’t go toe to toe with Wycombe.

“We haven’t got the same type of player, we haven’t got the same squad as Wycombe so we’ve got to turn the game into a game that suits us. Obviously, Wycombe are at home, they are going to come at us, so we’ve got to stand toe to toe with them as well.”

Sweeney is hoping to have Jamie Sterry back in the squad tonight, with the former Newcastle full-back having been unavailable for Friday night’s 2-1 defeat to Newport.

“I’m hoping to have Jamie available, but we’re touch and go,” he said. “There’s no change in terms of what I said before (Friday’s) game where it’s not a major injury, but we’ve got to be careful. We’ve still got to manage it whether we put him in. If we do, and he’s fully fit, I expect him to be fine. We may make a different decision.

“Bar that, it will be the same the squad. Whether it be the same personnel that starts, same personnel on the bench, that’s something we will have to discuss.”