Date: 16th November 2010 at 9:35pm
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Mark Halstead has today been recalled from his loan at Barrow after a scan on Matt Gilks’ knee injury revealed bad news.

Halstead joined Barrow on loan for a month just hours before they played AFC Wimbledon at the weekend, and acquitted himself well in their 2-0 win.

Thankfully, his loan deal included a 24 hour recall clause – a clause that was activated earlier today after a scan showed that the knee injury suffered by Matt Gilks on Saturday against West Ham is worse than first feared.

Gilks pulled up after a goal kick and was replaced at half time by Richard Kingson after indicating that he couldn’t continue despite his best efforts to do so.

Whilst there has been no official announcement from the club about the results of Gilks’ scan, national news sources are reporting that Halstead has been recalled because the injury is worse than first feared, and strong rumours tonight were suggesting that Gilks could be out for up to three months.

The news comes as a hammer blow to both player and club; Gilks had established himself as our undoubted number one – a position he could now lose – and he has of course been linked with better of bigger clubs with contract up in the summer… will those clubs be interested in a crocked player?

The bad news for the Seasiders is that they lose their first choice keeper, and of course, if he is out for three months, there will be no chance of selling him January should he continue to refuse to sign a new contract with the club – heightening the chances that we’ll lose him on a free in the summer.

Richard Kingson is expected to step into Gilks’ boots, and whilst Paul Rachubka made his come back from injury against Liverpool Reserves today, he is not listed in the Seasiders’ 25 man Premier League squad. Whether he can be added at this stage or will have to wait until January is unclear (he’s not expected to be fully fit until the New Year anyway). Therefore, expect to see Halstead on the bench over the coming weeks.

The news about Gilks’ injury leads us conveniently on to talk about the results of our latest fans’ poll.

We asked our readers who they would like to replace Matt Gilks in goal should he decide to leave the club.

35% of you went for Richard Kingson, and the Ghanian international will now get his chance to establish himself as ‘Pool’s number one starting on Saturday against Wolves.

24% of you went for Rachubka, 24% went for Watford’s Scott Loach (it is Vital’s understanding that a move for Loach in January is very unlikely), 7% went for Palace’s Julian Speroni, 6% went for Halstead, 3% went for Huddersfield’s Alex Smithies, whilst 1% wanted none of the above.