Liam Kennedy: Stick with Higgy! He’s the main to lead Hartlepool United through choppy waters

Craig Hignett

Craig Hignett

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“Buckets of money” - that was the statement used to describe this weekend’s opponents Portsmouth by Pools boss Craig Hignett, writes Liam Kennedy.

And to be honest it was a choice phrase to use in times of such economic uncertainty at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Pools will have to ‘sell before they can sign’

No matter whether you believe the recent rumours or not, two missed payments and subsequent winding up order petitions tell their own story of the state of play behind the scenes at the Vic.

Hignett must look on with some envy to see Paul Cook splash the cash as he pushes for promotion at Pompey.

All the while Pools will have to ‘sell before they can sign’, to paraphrase the manager’s own words.

And sign they must next month, because, as things stand, this squad could well take Pools down. Their proud record of never having dropped out of the English Football League is at stake.

Sometimes things are not always as they seem, though.

Have the players turned against their manager? Have they stopped playing for him?

No is the simple answer. They have not. They buy into his tactics, enjoy his training and thrive under his sharp, intelligent, to-the-point managerial style.

He has been a breath of fresh air at the Vic, by all accounts.

And it is for this reason why Pools, no matter what the busy festive period and the January window brings, should stand by their man.

Many fans are calling for change, but where has change got Pools in recent years? All it has delivered is one relegation battle after the next.

It was not all that long ago Championship side Blackburn Rovers were considering handing Hignett the reins. Bad coaches rarely get good jobs.

Pools have one of the brightest young managers in the Football League on their hands, in the right circumstances he has all the tools to take the club to the next level. But, as things stand, this looks a long way off.