Leyton Orient 0 Hartlepool 2: Craig Hignett admits he nearly changed team

Craig Hignett applauds the travelling Pools fans after the Orient win
Craig Hignett applauds the travelling Pools fans after the Orient win
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Craig Hignett sung the praises of his in-form players after Hartlepool United won 2-0 at Leyton Orient but admitted: “I nearly changed the team.”

The Pools boss ultimately decided against altering his side for the fourth match in a row and was rewarded when second-half goals by Billy Paynter and Nathan Thomas sunk the play-off chasers.

It took Pools up to 17th and 14 points clear of League Two’s relegation zone,

“I was delighted with the lads – we kept a really good shape and I think the discipline was fantastic,” said Hignett. “And when we went forward we scored two very good goals.

“To come to a club like Leyton Orient, who are a good side, pushing for a play-off place, and win like we did was fantastic.

“I must admit I did toy with the idea of changing it a little bit.

“I was awake until 3.30am thinking about what team I was going to pick.

“I thought we looked a little tired against Wimbledon, but in the end, those lads had earned their shirts and deserved to go out there.”

Hignett described the weekend double as “unbelievable” after beating another London play-off hopeful, Wimbledon, 1-0 on Good Friday.

It extended the unbeaten run to six games - the last four also being clean sheets.

“To get six points out of Wimbledon and Leyton Orient is fantastic, unbelievable,” said Hignett.

“It’s great for the lads, fans and the whole club, it gives everyone a lift.

“That was probably the best away performance sinced I’ve been here. The lads stuck to the game-plan to the letter and when I asked at half-time for a little bit more quality, I got it.”

“There was some great link up play down the left for the first and Jake Carroll stuck over a super ball and Billy was at the back post to stick it in.

“And there was a brilliant individual goal from Nathan and that’s what he’s capable of.”