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Hartlepool’s Nathan Thomas takes rich vein of form to Carlisle

Preview: Carlisle United v Hartlepool United

By Dom Brown

Hartlepool United travel to the North West to take on Carlisle in a derby game which has been hotly contested in recent times.

Though it may not be a geographic derby, Carlisle manager Keith Curle has said he expects a “typical derby game” against Pools.

Carlisle’s manager of two years told the club’s website: ‘It could be scrappy as both sides try to dominate, and there’ll be a lot of confidence in both camps because of the respective runs the teams are on.”

Curle’s Carlisle come into the game after putting three goals past Morcambe. This away victory has given the Cumbrians confidence that they can pick up three points at Brunton Park.

Hartlepool, however, who are yet to win in October – unlike their unbeaten opponents – have been encouraged by their manager Craig Hignett, who told that his side should go to Carlisle “with confidence”.

‘They do play expansive football so we have to be tight, hard to beat and then do what we do; they’re in front of their home fans if there’s a bigger crowd there then that is a bit of extra pressure too,” said the former Middlesbrough player, who thinks that the pressure will be on the home side to attack Pools.

Hartlepool’s key player for this fixture will, undoubtedly, be Nathan Thomas, who held all five nominations for the club’s goal of the month competition last month. Hignett will hope to see Thomas netting for the sixth time this season, but he will be watching the game from the stands as he serves the second game of his touchline ban.

While Hignett will not be on the pitch, one player who will be is Derek Asamoah who has returned to Carlisle, signing a new two-month contract. Asamoah was released from the club in the summer after a 18 month association, but he has returned to Cumbria just three months later.

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