Craig Hignett won’t abandon attacking principles despite Hartlepool’s struggles

Craig Hignett

Craig Hignett

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Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett says he won’t abandon his principles despite seeing his side slip closer to the relegation zone.

Pools are 18th in the League Two table after a first half of the season in which they’ve struggled for consistency.

A win against Accrington Stanley last week was sandwiched between defeats on the road against Doncaster Rovers and Wycombe as Hignett’s men struggle to get any momentum to their campaign.

But despite sitting just five places and four points above the drop zone, the Pools manager says he won’t change the style of play he’s trying to instil at Victoria Park.

Hignett is a firm advocator of getting the ball down and passing it, unlike some teams in the league who prefer the more direct approach.

He said: “I don’t want to shell it and start knocking the ball long and direct – there’s nothing in that.

“We want to play with principles and we are going to stick with it.”

The loss through injury of Nathan Thomas hasn’t helped Pools either.

Hignett has had to change the system slightly to counter the absence of the in-form attacker, who is likely to be out until the New Year with a groin injury.

And despite the 2-0 defeat at Wycombe on Saturday, he was pleased with the way his side adapted, particularly in the wide areas.

“We have changed a bit without Nathan and it lends itself to being a bit more fluid and we keep the ball a bit better without being as dynamic,” said Hignett.

“We are a different sort of team without Nath and his pace and drive – we have to be.

“We are a different side and it lets the full-backs go on too – we asked them to as we felt they could get in behind them (Wycombe).

“We got a lot of crosses in, not as many as we wanted, but we did what was asked.”