HARTLEPOOL UNITED will experience life on plastic tomorrow – but John Askey does not think their opponents, Oxford City, should be allowed to play in the National League on an artificial pitch.

Pools head to the RAW Charging Stadium to take on an Oxford City side that won promotion from National League South via the play-offs last season.

Oxford play their home games on an artificial surface as, while EFL rules forbid teams from playing on a plastic pitch, no such rules apply in the National League.

Askey does not think that is right, with the Pools boss citing the potential for injuries as his biggest concern ahead of tomorrow’s game.

“You just have to get on with it, but I’ve said for a long time that I don’t agree with playing at this standard on 3G pitches,” said Askey. “My biggest concern of playing on 3G pitches is the injuries that it causes to players – not only our own players, but players in general.

“I’m glad we don’t play on it every week. For a one-off, you just have to adjust accordingly. The players know it’s only for one game, and they just have to give it everything they’ve got, as they do every week. There’s no reason why we can’t go there and get a result.”

Pools have suffered two major injury blows in the last few weeks, with Dan Dodds expected to be sidelined for around a year after suffering cruciate ligament damage and Anthony Mancini unlikely to play for at least six months because of a hamstring issue.

The twin blows were a major setback, but Askey’s side responded impressively as they beat Wealdstone 2-1 last weekend to remain within a point of the top of the table.

Mani Dieseruvwe scored his sixth goal of the season in the Wealdstone win, with his magnificent start to the campaign seeing him win the National League Player of the Month award for August.

“His all-round play has been excellent, and to get the goals as well, he’s probably the in-form striker in the league and that’s why he’s got the reward of Player of the Month, which he deserves,” said Askey, in an interview with BBC Tees.

“He works really hard as well, and if he can do that until the end of the season, we know we’re going to score goals. I’m sure he’ll go through a spell where he doesn’t do well, and then it’ll be up to others to step up to the mark and do for the team what he’s been doing.”