Hartlepool boss demands same level against Luton

Nathan Thomas is congratulated on his goal at Plymouth
Nathan Thomas is congratulated on his goal at Plymouth

Craig Hignett reckons his Hartlepool United players have set the bar high with their Plymouth draw.

Now the target, according to the manager, is not to let those levels drop.

If that is the standard we are at then I will take that.

Because he reckons that when his players are “up for it” they are a match for anyone in League Two.

“I said at half-time it was the best 45 we have ever put in,” said the manager.

“I thought we were excellent. We controlled the game and looked really solid.

“I felt they ran out of ideas trying to play through us.

“We thought up a particular way of playing I thought it worked a treat. I am really pleased with what I saw from the players.”

Hignett was sent to the stands late on at Home Park for protesting the decision to give Argyle a penalty, which robbed his side of what would have been a vital win at the League Two table toppers.

But despite anger at losing the lead and referee Gavin Ward’s performance, Hignett was proud of players.

He continued: “If that is the standard we are at then I will take that.

“We need to play like that five times out of six not just one time out of three.

“If we get to that level and we are up for it then there is no reason why we should be scared of anyone in this league.”

Jake Jervis’ strike with just six minutes left squared things up, but earlier former Pilgrims man Nathan Thomas had opened the scoring for Pools with a looping effort over the head of Luke McCormick.

Thomas’ effort was either a sublime finish or an unintentional cross gone wrong. On first viewing it was hard to work out.

When asked whether his winger meant the goal, which nestled in the far corner, Hignett said: “He said he meant it.

“I took his word for it, but he has been known to lie once or twice.

“We got in some great positions and it’s a disappointment we didn’t score.

“We defended really well, done enough to see it out, but that was 15 minutes I’ve never seen before on a football field.”