Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth has doubts over Steve Haslam and Armann Bjornsson for the home clash with Rochdale.

Defender Haslam was forced off at half-time during last weekend's 5-2 defeat at Walsall with a back injury and will face a late fitness test.

Bjornsson, who would have been Haslam's likely deputy, has struggled to train this week due to an illness and looks almost certain to miss out.

Midfielder Antony Sweeney is set to be sidelined again with an ankle wound which will need at least another week to heal.

Striker James Brown is progressing well in his recovery from a twisted ankle which forced him to miss the Saddlers defeat, but is unlikely to be risked against Dale.

Pools will be looking to get back to winning ways following successive defeats.

Rochdale boss Keith Hill is boosted by the return of midfielder Joe Thompson for the trip.

Thompson has been suffering from a groin injury in recent weeks but has begun training again and looks certain to come into contention.

Hill has no other injury or suspension concerns as his men seek to enhance their play-off credentials after last weekend`s 1-0 win at Plymouth.

Dale are 10 points adrift of the top six but have games in hand on the majority of their rivals and Hill is urging his men to stay focused.

"It's up to the players to meet the challenge and get as many points as we can," he said.

"We are one of those teams that could come with a late run, because we have got the games to play."

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