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Match Previews

The big preview - Hartlepool

7 March 2014

Wanderers will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games and make it three wins from four when Hartlepool United visit Adams Park on Saturday (k.o 3pm).

Chairboys came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Southend United last time out to cap off a week that saw wins over Chesterfield and Exeter City.

Colin Cooper’s Hartlepool go into the game on the back of one defeat in six – a run that has seen them close the gap on the play-offs to just five points.

Strikers Luke James and Marlon Harewood were both on target last weekend in a 3-0 win over Torquay United, with James’ goal taking him to 14 for the season.

Gareth Ainsworth – talking to Chairboys Player

“I said at the Hartlepool and York games earlier on in the season that these were good points. Nobody knows after eight games where people will end up, but after 46 you will know.

“I think the win away at Hartlepool was a great win and they’re a good side with a good manager. They’ve got players on loan from Middlesbrough, they’ve got Nick Barmby’s son from Manchester United and they’re a quality side.

“It didn’t click at the start of the season for them, but this will be a tough game. They will play a bit and they’ll try and get their front lads involved. James is a very dangerous player and Marlon Harewood has been around a long time - these are dangerous guys.

“We’ll have to have a big respect for them, but also believe that we can go and hurt them. With the attacking players we have I believe we can.”

Colin Cooper – talking to Pools Player

“Other than the Northampton game we’ve done quite well recently but now we have another two opportunities in the space of four days and if we take those we’ll be alright.

“I thought Wycombe played well when they came up there; they have a narrow and compact system and that’s something we have to be able to match and also find ways to put our stamp on the game.

“What we want is to ally the dogged determination we showed at Southend and Dagenham, with the creativity we showed against Wimbledon and last week against Torquay.

“The attitude and application has been very, very good – the reaction from Northampton to Torquay was smashing and now all we’re saying is ‘can you do it again?’” 

Team news

Skipper Stuart Lewis remains a doubt with a hamstring problem, while Gary Doherty, Charles Dunne and Tommy Fletcher are definitely out.  However, Reece Styche is available again after returning from international duty with Gibraltar.

Pools right-back Michael Duckworth is unlikely to be fit after sustaining a leg injury at Northampton two weeks ago, while fellow defender Neil Austin continues to struggle with a toe injury.

Odds

Wycombe 8/5

Draw 23/10

Hartlepool 13/8
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