Hartlepool United’s ex-Middlesbrough management’s top flight experience can prove key to Pools success in League Two

Pools backroom staff Curtis Fleming and Tony Caig in conversation
Pools backroom staff Curtis Fleming and Tony Caig in conversation
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Hartlepool United’s Boro factor can prove key to Pools being a success in League Two.

That was the prediction from striker Padraig Amond as Pools build up towards a glamour friendly with Premier League neighbours Sunderland.

It is a quality staff we have here

The former Grimsby Town hitman believes Pools are blessed to have three ex-Middlesbrough men with extensive top flight and international experience at the helm.

Boss Craig Hignett, first-team coach Curtis Fleming and Stuart Parnaby, the club’s pre-rehabilitation and conditioning guru, have all played at the top of the game.

“It is a quality staff we have here,” said Amond.

“The gaffer, Curtis, Parns have all played in the Premier League.

“It’s great to be able to tap into each of them and get bits of advice.

“If you can take a little bit off each of them every week then you’ll be doing all right.

“You won’t go far wrong if you listen to these guys who’ve been there, done it and been successful.

“It’s a great staff to work with.”

All three of the principal coaches spent the bulk of their careers with Boro.

Hignett not only made over 150 appearances for Boro, he scored the first goal at the Riverside, and was a Wembley winner with Blackburn and played in Europe for Rovers.

Fleming played over 260 times for Boro and also won 10 caps for the Republic of Ireland while after his playing career ended, the defender coached Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers.

Parnaby was one of the stars of Boro’s exciting run to the UEFA Cup final in 2006 and after his career was constantly interrupted by injury, he is now working with Pools players to use the benefit of his knowledge in that area to try to keep them fit.

Throw in fitness and conditioning coach, Craig Hubbard, goalkeeping coach, Tony Caig, and U21 boss, Sam Collins, into the mix and Pools have a strong off-field combination.

The coaches were today getting the players ready for a significant test tomorrow night.

Pools were back at work this morning at Maiden Castle having had a day off yesterday to recover from the exertions of a heavy workload on the last couple of days in Tenerife and a return home in the early hours.

Hignett was full of praise for the attitude of his players though Pools face a potentially tricky night, not only because of the quality of opposition but the fact they have played only one game so far, plus an in-house match at La Caleta.