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Coventry V Hartlepool at Ricoh Arena : Match Preview

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15 Mar 2013 12:31:35

Coventry V Hartlepool at Ricoh Arena : Match Preview

Coventry V Hartlepool - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Clarke out for Coventry

Coventry host Hartlepool without leading scorer Leon Clarke as they look to put their off-field struggles to one side.

Clarke, who has bagged 10 goals since joining the Sky Blues in January to take his tally to 21 in total this season, missed Tuesday's late 2-2 draw against Colchester due to a recurring ankle injury.

And it was then announced on Wednesday that the striker would be forced to undergo surgery to correct the problem, ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Matters went from bad to worse for Coventry on Wednesday night as Ricoh Arena management company Arena Coventry Limited (ACL) announced it had made an application to the High Court to request that it make an administration order against the club.

Nevertheless, manager Steven Pressley has a job to do on the pitch and three points against relegation-threatened Hartlepool would certainly boost morale.

On-loan left-back Carl Dickinson has returned to parent club Watford and will therefore not be involved, while defenders Richard Wood (groin) and Blair Adams (knee) are expected to remain sidelined as well as striker Stephen Elliott (knee).

Hartlepool's veteran striker Steve Howard, Andy Monkhouse and Antony Sweeney are all pushing for recalls.

Howard has started on the bench in recent weeks following his recovery from a hamstring injury, while Monkhouse was among the substitutes in last week's goalless home draw with Yeovil.

Fellow midfielder Sweeney has also played a bit-part role following his recent return from a knee injury, but he managed 45 minutes for the reserves in midweek and could be in contention to make his first start since January.

Teenage defenders Jordan Richards and Jack Baldwin remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.

Richards is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair cartilage damage, while Baldwin could also be sidelined until the summer after damaging medial ligaments.

Pools are still six points from safety, but have lost only one of their last 10 league matches.


PA

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