Hartlepool director of sport Chris Turner will be without Peter Hartley for the visit of promotion-chasing MK Dons.

The defender will begin a three-match ban following his dismissal in the 2-1 victory over Oldham last time out, so Neil Austin will switch to left-back with Antony Sweeney continuing down the right.

But there is some better news for Pools as Joe Gamble is set to make his debut in midfield, while Denis Behan should return to the bench following his recovery from an ankle injury.

Turner still has some late decisions to make over Sam Collins (Achilles) and Gary Liddle (hamstring), so he will continue to assess the duo in training before deciding whether or not they are fit enough to feature.

But Steve Haslam is still building up his match fitness as he continues his recovery from a hernia operation.

Mark Randall and Andros Townsend are expected to make their debuts for MK Dons.

Dons boss Paul Ince beat off several Championship clubs to sign Arsenal midfielder Randall and Spurs winger Townsend on loan until the end of the season on Thursday and the pair could both start.

Defender David McCracken has trained after recovering from the calf injury which ruled him out of the FA Cup defeat to Burnley a fortnight ago and he may be involved.

Jude Stirling could also be handed his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last two games after recovering from a groin injury, but Sean O`Hanlon (knee) remains at least six weeks away from a return.

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