ALEX Cooper, the son of former Hartlepool United boss Neale, will appear on trial for the club this afternoon.

Freed by Liverpool last season, the 19-year-old will play against Gateshead at Victoria Park (2pm).

He moved to Anfield for £100,000 from Ross County in 2007, but never made a first-team appearance after suffering a broken ankle and can play in both midfield and defence.

His dad was one of Pools' most successful managers, leading the club to the play-off semi-final in 2004 before leaving before the final game of the following season with the side on the verge of the play-offs again.

Cooper has been on trial at Hull this summer. Pools will also field James Brown in the game, as the forward builds up his fitness after missing part of the pre-season campaign.

Gary Liddle won't be part of the side, but he is expected to be in contention for a return to the side for Saturday's trip to Rochdale.

The midfielder suffered a fractured cheekbone in the opening seconds of the 1-1 draw with Walsall at Victoria Park ten days ago.

He has had surgery to repair the bone and has been fitted with a protective mask which has allowed him to return to the training ground this week.

Nobby Solano will also be in the frame for a recall after a hamstring strain, while Antony Sweeney is recovering from a groin injury.

Pools chief Mick Wadsworth has welcomed a solid week on the training ground after two midweek games in the early part of the season.

They squandered a two-goal lead at Stevenage to draw 2-2 on Saturday and he said: "We've had an intensive two weeks in terms of games and losing players.

"Our midfield on Saturday wouldn't be first choice on the field, no disrespect to anyone. But we have players coming back and will have more options.

"It's a tough time, we've not many options they have been diluted. It's a shame, but we get on with it.

"We will analyse Saturday's game and see where we went wrong. There's not too much analysis needed - it's simple things.''