Hartlepool v Preston preview
Last Updated: 31/12/12 11:17am
Poole: Pushing for a start
Team news ahead of the New Year's Day clash between Hartlepool and Preston at Victoria Park.
Hartlepool manager John Hughes is expected to keep any changes to his side at a minimum.
Pools secured their first win in 23 matches at Sheffield United on Saturday - and their first in seven attempts under current boss Hughes, who has no new major injury worries.
Midfielder Simon Walton (hamstring), plus defenders Peter Hartley (conjunctivitis) and Evan Horwood (groin) all returned for the 3-0 defeat at Carlisle on Boxing Day and retained their places in the victory at Bramall Lane.
Striker James Poole is pushing for a recall after impressing as a second-half substitute on Saturday and teenager Luke James is also in contention after a recent bout of tonsilitis, while defenders Jack Baldwin and Neil Austin, plus winger Andy Monkhouse are all hoping to feature.
Graham Westley is hoping Jack King can recover from a bout of illness in time for Preston's trip to Hartlepool.
King was ruled out of Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Doncaster, North End's heaviest defeat of the season, which extends their winless run to eight League One games since beating Westley's former club Stevenage in November.
The versatile 27-year-old joined defenders Keith Keane (knee) and Scott Laird (broken leg) and midfielders Lee Holmes (groin) and Nicky Wroe (knee) on the sidelines.
"We have those two (Keane and Laird), Nicky Wroe, Lee Holmes and Jack King went down overnight," Lilywhites boss Westley told his club's official website after the Rovers reverse.
"With those five lads missing we were dependant on two or three young players."
Stuart Beavon is expected to continue in attack after shaking off a hip problem to start at the weekend.
Sky Bet League 1
Tue 1st Jan
Swindon5 - 0Portsmth
Brentford0 - 0B'mouth
Bury0 - 1Tranmere
Coventry0 - 1Shrewsbury
Crawley3 - 0Colchester
Crewe1 - 0Carlisle
Doncaster2 - 2Sheff Utd
Hartlepool0 - 1Preston
Notts Co1 - 2MK Dons
Scunthorpe2 - 2Oldham
Walsall1 - 0Stevenage
Yeovil3 - 0Leyton Or
Sky Bet League 1
|2||Preston North End||45||89|
|3||Milton Keynes Dons||45||88|