"It's another good game for us," says Boro's head coach. "I know Higgy (Pools manager Craig Hignett) of course. We played there last year and had a good win in a good performance and let's hope it's the same again.

"Craig has them playing really well, playing some good football.

"We'll make a few changes to the team, a few players need a few more minutes.

"It's coming together nicely. We have blooded some youngsters with the first team and the older ones have been fantastic with the younger lads, they've really brought them together."

It has been a busy summer for former Boro star Hignett, with six new signings already in the building.

Goalkeeper Ben Killip is a former Chelsea player and England C international. With over 450 games former Crewe defender Michael Raynes adds experience at the back. Defensive midfielder Gus Mafuta offers cover to the rearguard, former Sunderland winger Luke Molyneux winger has lit up pre-season, Frenchman Gime Toure and Nicke Kabamba, a former Portsmouth striker, adding the firepower up front.

So far Pools have played three Northern League Division 1 sides, beating Billingham Town 4-0, Shildon 6-0 and on Tuesday Newton Aycliffe 7-0.

As last season, Boro fans will be down the side of the pitch in the Neale Cooper stand. 

Admission prices are £10 adults, £5 concessions and kick-off is 1pm.