HARTLEPOOL United will be without Jamie Sterry for three games after the full back received a straight red card in the 3-1 defeat to Forest Green Rovers.

The 26-year-old got caught up in an off the ball altercation in the closing stages of the game where Pools were looking to cut their two goal deficit.

The tussle with the FGR player saw tempers flare and Sterry lose his head as players from both teams got involved.

But the referee judged Sterry to be the guilty party and sent him for an early bath with minutes left before stoppage time. The loss of a key player is a big blow to Pools having brought him back into the fold following recent injury problems.

The defeat also means that Pools have lost three League Two games in a row and have dropped to 12th in the table.

Interim manager Antony Sweeney told BBC Radio Tees Sport: “I won’t one hundred per cent say what I said to Jamie at the end of the game.

“To sum it up, the level that we are at and the competition that we’re going to face in this next month, we need every player available that we possibly can.

“Injuries happen where unforeseen circumstances where you can have that.

“For us to lose a player for three games where it be solely our responsibility or his responsibility on this occasion is disappointing to say the least.

“I’ve told him, I’m pretty sure he is aware of it as well, but that can’t happen.

“Like I say, at half-time you are looking at damage limitation. That might be coming through the game as healthy as we possibly can with numbers available for Tuesday.

“Not only did we lose three points today, we’ve lost a key players for three games coming up so it’s a double blow for us.”

Next up for Pools in the league is a long trip to Swindon Town tomorrow night where they’ll be looking to bring their losing run to an end.

Their search for a new manager also continues with the club taking their time to appoint a new boss.

Sweeney is still in temporary charge while the club’s hierarchy decide who to put in the dugout.