Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison is happy to have Blair Adams back in the fold – with the fit-again defender in contention to play in Saturday’s FA Cup derby in his home town.
South Shields lad Adams has recovered from a groin injury which sidelined him following the defeat to Fylde in late August.
The left-back has seen Nicky Deverdics take ownership of the role he was expected to occupy following his summer move from Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership.
But Adams ended his eight-match exile at the weekend at Solihull Moors, where he played the last quarter of an hour as a sub for Devante Rodney.
Adams played on the left of midfield, effectively as well, as he covered any threat coming forward from the home side.
“It was good to get Blair on,” said Harrison. “It’s funny with footballers, me included when I played, no one wants to get put on when you are being beaten.
“Everyone wants to go on when you are winning!
“Seriously, it was good for him to get some minutes.
“He had 90 minutes the previous week in the practice game we had against Bradford.”
Adams had impressed in pre-season, including scoring a fine goal in the 6-0 win at Dunston, only for a niggling injury to interrupt his flow when the National League programme got under way.
With Deverdics having toe trouble, Adams could be in line for a first start since the loss to Fylde.
Harrison has a number of selection posers ahead of the game at Mariners Park but certainly won’t be taking the game lightly.
“It’s very exciting and from my perspective it will be my first taste of the FA Cup,” said the Gateshead-born boss.
“For the area there couldn’t have been a better draw, we know that South Shields are dangerous – they have already put out Darlington and York in the last two rounds.
“It’s going to be a very tough game, certainly one we are looking forward to.”