Hartlepool United v Mansfield Town: Complacency can’t creep in says Craig Hignett

Craig Hignett, Hartlepool United manager
Craig Hignett, Hartlepool United manager

Craig Hignett insists Hartlepool United will not allow complacency to creep in for tomorrow’s home match with Mansfield Town.

The magnificent March run of four wins and two draws has lifted Pools away from trouble and up to 17th in the table.

It’s important we don’t relax, but while we’re on this run and have kept these clean sheets I don’t think we’ll do that

CRAIG HIGNETT

And while they are not not safe, mathematically, it would take an unlikely series of results to put them back in peril.

But Hignett does not want his players to relax – far from it, he wants them pushing on, starting April as they finished last month, with a win and clean sheet.

“I don’t want an end-of-season feel, I want us to finish on a high,” said the manager.

“I want a real feel-good-factor going into the summer and everyone looking forward to next season.

“It’s important we don’t relax, but, while we’re on this run and have kept these clean sheets, I don’t think we’ll do that.

“The lads are really determined to keep the unbeaten and clean sheet run going.”

Pools will be favourites tomorrow at Victoria Park.

While Hignett’s side are undefeated in six fixtures, Mansfield have failed to win in the same period.

A run of two points from a possible 18 has knocked their play-off ambitions though they did draw 2-2 with champions-elect Northampton on Monday when their 10 men were unfortunate not to topple the leaders.

“Mansfield will be had opponents, they are all tough games,” said Hignett.

“There is nothing we fear in the league, but anyone can beat anyone on the day.

“We have to make sure we are bang at it and we are everything we have been in the last month.

“Mansfield will come and pose us problems but if we are right I’m confident we’ll win the game.

“The only problem could be complacency and thinking you have cracked it, but I won’t allow that to happen.”

Hignett plans to send out an unchanged XI for the fifth match in a row, resisting the temptation, strong though it is, to look at players in his squad who are “champing at the bit” to play.

The Pools chief, a candidate for League Two’s manager of the month award, wants to keep the sequence going, so will not alter his team.

“I had thought of changes for Leyton Orient, but decided against it,” said Hignett. “Easter was a great weekend, beating two clubs going for the play-offs.

“The lads have thoroughly deserved their rewards – against Wimbledon we held off a lot of late pressure and I rate Leyton Orient as our best away performance.

“I’m really pleased with how the players are going through their business, we are picking up the points we deserve.

“While we are not going for the play-offs or anything like that, there are aims there for us.

“We have four clean sheets in a row so let’s see how far we can go with that.

“We are six unbeaten, so how long can we keep that going?”