CRAIG Hignett believes Hartlepool United will come back stronger from their FA Cup heartache.
Pools today returned to Sky Bet League Two action with the visit of promotion-chasing Burton Albion to Victoria Park.
But far from being scarred by the experience of a late 2-1 second-round replay exit to Coventry City, Hignett is confident Pools will take great belief from the two games against League One’s top scorers.
In fact, given the previous cup encounters with League One opposition, against Bradford City, Sheffield United, Notts County and Rotherham, the Pools assistant boss views it as another step in the right direction.
“There was a disappointment on Tuesday night at Sixfields,” Hignett said.
“After the game everyone was down.
“It was a sickener that we got back into it with three minutes to go with Jack Baldwin’s header and then lost it in injury time.
“Overall the lads were fantastic over the two games with Coventry and can be proud of what they have done.
“They were two good games and we’ve had good performances against all the League One sides we’ve played this season.
“Coventry were the best we have played, with two good strikers up front, who were a real handful.
“For us to cope with that and play like we did, it gives us all belief that we are going about things the right way.”
Hignett has been impressed with the football from Colin Cooper’s side, but also the never-say-die spirit.
“In a few games recently we have gone behind early,” he said.
“That has given us a bit to do, but the belief is there and that has been proved by coming back in games.
“We were unluckly not to win at Cheltenham last week after coming back from two-down.”