Craig Hignett: Hartlepool United fans must keep their cool

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett

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Boss Craig Hignett has urged patience among the Hartlepool United faithful.

Pools have been dumped out of all three cup competitions this season to date, and have slid to 18th in the League Two table after a poor run of results.

The fans have had to be patient. They can see we are better than we have shown

Ahead of this afternoon’s visit of Cambridge United, Hignett says punters must keep faith with the talent within his ranks.

While he accepts things haven’t been good enough lately, he says the tight nature of the fourth tier means now is not the time to panic.

“The league position doesn’t look good, but things are tight,” he said.

“The fans have had to be patient. They can see we are better than we have shown, I think.

“It looks good when we play properly and we have added goals.

“The other bit – the defending – is something that we have to improve on. We know that.”

The gaffer continued: “The fans have been supportive.

“I want to be in the mix. I want what they want, to be at the top of the league challenging.

“When I see performances like Sunday I can see why they are frustrated. I am, too.

“I don’t want to be where we are, neither do the lads.

“It’s no good saying we could do this or we should do that. We need to deliver.”

One of the main issues with Pools this campaign, as highlighted by the manager, has been at the back.

The fans can see where the problems are occuring, so can the management team, according to Hignett.

But solving the issues has been aprticularly problematic.

Hignett explains: “People probably look and wonder why we aren’t working on the problems in training. We are.

“If fans seen us train they would see the players doing their job all week, then doing something different on the pitch.

“Sometimes when you have got thousands of people watching it is different. It is easy to do it when one man and his dog is watching on the training pitch.

“People react to pressure in different ways.

“They are all good footballers. But add in the crowd, something that matters, three points, someone shouting at you, trying to kick you and people react differently.

“That is what makes a footballer.

“If they had that in their make up they wouldn’t be playing in League Two because they are better than that.

“Everyone can want the ball and play well when you are 2-0 up. You find up most about people’s make up when the backs are against the wall and you need to dig in.”