Boro legend Craig Hignett feels pain of Hartlepool United plight – but isn’t sure about ‘next step’

ABILITY: Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID
ABILITY: Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID
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CRAIG Hignett feels the pain of Hartlepool United’s plight – but he is unsure whether the vacant job is for him or not.

The 44-year-old, out of work since leaving Middlesbrough last Tuesday, told SportMail he plans to “think carefully” about his future.

Pools are without a boss for the second time this season after Paul Murray was removed from the position in the aftermath of Friday night’s FA Cup humbling by Blyth Spartans.

Hignett was immediately installed as the bookmakers’ favourite.

The Boro legend carved quite a reputation during his spell as assistant manager at Pools last season when he worked alongside Colin Cooper.

Pools were ninth and only five points off the play-offs when he left to become assistant head coach to Aitor Karanka at Boro who are now knocking on the door to promotion to the Premier League.

“It hurts seeing Pools where they are,” Hignett told SportMail.

“It’s never nice seeing a club you have been associated with having a tough time.

“I watched Friday night’s game against Blyth on the telly and it was a good first half.

“But, for whatever reason, the performance in the second half was not up to standard.

“It was difficult to watch for me and difficult for the supporters, I feel for everyone.

“I loved it at Pools.

“I was there as a player under Danny Wilson and it was great going there with Colin last season.

“I have the greatest respect for Coops and loved working with him and I’m very sad to see the way it has gone.”

Hignett is available now and plans to carry on in football, despite the sad end to his stay at Boro last week, when he left following a fall-out with Karanka.

Speaking exclusively to SportMail, he says he will think long and hard about his “next step”

“I have just left Middlesbrough,” he said.

“I was very happy at Pools and working alongside Colin but I got a job I could not turn down.

“I have got to weigh up what is right for me.

“If I am going to take the next step it has got to be the right one for me.

“It’s early days for me, I have only just left Boro.

“Football is my life, it is all I have known, and it is what I want to do, so I have to think about things very carefully.

“I have had two jobs [in coaching] and they have gone really well.”

Hignett is unlikely to be out of work for long – a look at the statistics at both Pools and Boro would point that he has much to offer.

“I know what I can do and I am confident in my ability,” he added.

“But I need to decide what I want to do next.”

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