Hartlepool United v Wimbledon: Wombles only thing on Craig Hignett’s mind

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Hartlepool United are chasing a London double this weekend – but Craig Hignett is not looking any further than tomorrow’s Victoria Park clash with Wimbledon (kick-off 3pm).

Pools follow up a Good Friday confrontation with the Wombles with a tough trip to Leyton Orient.

I’m not bothered about York, I’m not bothered about Wimbledon, all I’m bothered about is us

CRAIG HIGNETT

After four fixtures against clubs in the lower half of League Two, the weekend presents a far tougher challenge.

Wimbledon are ninth in the table, just three points behind the side in the last play-off spot – Orient.

Hignett says only the Wombles are on his mind – he won’t start thinking about a tussle with Kevin Nolan’s O’s until 5pm tomorrow.

“I’d be delighted with two wins, but I’m only focusing on Wimbledon,” said Hignett who says he is not being distracted by any events in the table, other than what Pools are doing.

“Things are going well, we’re on a nice little run and we’re difficult to beat.

“We’ve been unlucky actually not to get a few more points.

“We’ve spent some hours on a coach so it’s nice to be back at the Vic.

“I thought at times we looked a little bit leggy at Crawley but, on the whole, the lads have been excellent.

“I’m not bothered about York, I’m not bothered about Wimbledon, all I’m bothered about is us.

“I don’t care what teams around us do, I’m concentrating only on us.

“Things are changing here, the mentality is different, you can see that by the way the team plays, we have a style now.

“I want to carry that on and try to improve it.”

Hignett is set to send out an unchanged side for the second game in succession, though he may shuffle his bench.

Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley faces a dilemma whether to change a winning team following their dramatic 2-1 success over York City last weekend.

Powerhouse striker Adebayo Akinfenwa is available again after sitting out the last two games following his first red card in seven years at Bristol Rovers earlier this month.

While in the veteran bracket, the 33-year-old remains a dangerman given his huge physique.

But Hignett says he will not alter his side or his tactics to take Akinfenwa into account.

“I want make any special plans at all,” he said.

“Obviously he can be a handful, but we’ll be approaching the game in exactly the same way as we’ve approached the last four matches.

“If he plays he plays, if he doesn’t he doesn’t, it won’t affect our game plan.”

Pools (probable): Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray, Hawkins, Thomas, Paynter, James. 

Subs (from): Bartlett, Richards, Harrison, Woods, Walker, Laurent, Oates, Bingham, Fenwick