Craig Hignett out to repay the faith shown by Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall

Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Hignett says he is determined to “repay the faith” of chairman Gary Coxall after being unveiled as Hartlepool United boss.

The 46-year-old was introduced to the media at Victoria Park this afternoon - less than 24 hours after becoming the club’s 35th post-war manager.

He made it clear I was his number one and I have to repay his faith

Craig Hignett, Hartlepool United manager

Ronnie Moore was sacked yesterday in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s 2-1 home defeat by Stevenage, a result which kept them 22nd, just four points above the League Two drop zone.

Hignett, who worked for Pools for nine months as assistant to Colin Cooper in the 2013-14 season, said he was thrilled to be back at the Vic and as the number one.

“I’m so delighted to be given an opportunity here and I have to thank the chairman for having a bit of faith in me,” said the former Middlesbrough star.

“He made it clear I was his number one and I have to repay his faith.

“I first heard yesterday afternoon, about four o’clock asking if I would go in for a chat and I listened to the chairman and was really impressed with his ideas, his vision for the club, how he wanted to grow it.

“He wanted a clear identity – and it’s all I ever wanted to hear. It’s a perfect fit.

“My phone had started going again, in football terms, after it has been quiet so people have been talking about me again.

“I had two successful jobs as an assistant at Pools and Boro and felt I was ready for the top job.

“You just need someone with a bit of bottle to say ‘give him a go’.”

Hignett says his lack of experience in having not managed a team will not be a hindrance for Pools.

“People say he’s not experienced, so you go for experience – and that’s someone who has been there before, been sacked, had a chance,” he said.

“Why not give it to someone who quite clearly knows what he is doing, but has never managed before?

“Not everyone is cut out to be a football manager – I didn’t know I was cut out to be a football manager until I was an assistant.”

Hignett says he will “work hard” and acknowledges he’ll have to work fast.

“We need results, football is a result business and I would not be sat here otherwise,” said the Scouser.

“The chairman said he is almost asking me to do two jobs – putting something in place, a structure for the club to move forward for the future.

“And the most important job is to get us away from where we are now, away from trouble and safe.’’