Football - Hughes set to stick

Hartlepool manager John Hughes could name an unchanged starting line-up for the home game with Stevenage.

Eurosport

Pools halted a run of five straight defeats in all competitions with a 1-1 draw at Walsall in their last match and Hughes has no new injury or suspension problems.

But defender Neil Austin remains sidelined as he sits out the second of a four-game ban following his second dismissal of the season in the recent defeat to Oldham, so teenager Jordan Richards is expected to retain his place after making his fifth appearance for the club last week.

Midfielder Simon Walton missed the draw at Walsall due to a hamstring injury and is not ready for a return to action, while teenage striker Luke James, who played for 45 minutes for the reserves in midweek, will continue to build up his match fitness following a double hernia operation.

Pools, 10 points adrift at the foot of the table, are chasing their first win under Hughes and their first success since September 1.

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