Hartlepool boss not fazed by Port Vale cup trip

Nicky Deverdics sends in a cross against Stamford
Nicky Deverdics sends in a cross against Stamford
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Craig Hignett says drawing League One Port Vale in the second round of the FA Cup should hold no fear for his Hartlepool United players.

That’s because the gaffer knows playing away from the club’s Northern Gas & Power Stadium home suits his players down to the ground.

I’m convinced we can go away anywhere and give teams a game so it’s a game we’ll look forward to.

Hignett admitted yesterday that in an ideal world he was hoping for a home draw as reward for seeing off Stamford in the first round.

Goalscorer Nicky Deverdics went even further, suggesting a home draw against non-league opposition would have been perfect for Pools.

But as things transpired, Pools will instead be making the trip to the Potteries and Vale Park to take on opposition from a division above.

Hignett says the squad have nothing to fear, though.

“I don’t think the gap between League Two and League One is massive unless you’re talking about the very top teams so we will go there with confidence and we’ll have the lads fired up,” he said.

“I’m convinced we can go away anywhere and give teams a game so it’s a game we’ll look forward to.

“It will be tough, there’s no doubt about that, because they’re going well in League One under Bruno Ribeiro.

“But we’ve been excellent in some of our away games this season; we have a way of playing which will cause them problem so I’m sure it will be a good game.

“If they do their homework on us they will see how they play and they’ll know we’re capable of going there and getting a result so we’ll see how it develops.

“We’re away from home against a higher division team so they will be expected to win and have the pressure that goes along with that so we can enjoy it and play our football.”

The third round, when the big boys come into the competition is just 90 minutes away from Pools.

Hignett continued: “Getting to round three in with the big boys is the incentive for us now, that’s what we want to do – it’s a tough draw but we can go and put on a show and come away with the result.”

FA CUP SECOND ROUND DRAW: Westfields or Curzon Ashton v Bury or AFC Wimbledon, Chesterfield v Wycombe, Millwall v Braintree Town, Macclesfield v Oxford United, Bolton v Sheffield United, Blackpool v Gillingham or Brackley Town, Whitehawk or Stourbridge v Northampton, Boreham Wood or Notts County v Peterborough, Cambridge United or Dover v Coventry or Morecambe, Port Vale v Hartlepool, Bristol Rovers or Crawley v Barrow or Taunton, Woking v Accrington Stanley, Lincoln City v Oldham, Luton v Yeovil or Solihull Moors, Sutton United v Cheltenham or Crewe, Eastleigh or Swindon v Halifax or Dagenham and Redbridge, Shrewsbury v Southport or Fleetwood, Charlton v MK Dons, Plymouth v Newport or Alfreton, Carlisle v Maidstone United or Rochdale.