Craig Hignett's Hartlepool United set-piece Tuesday ahead of date with Usain Bolt Northampton Town

Three goals in three games via dead-ball situations is a pretty impressive stat for Hartlepool United.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23 February, 2016, 06:00
Adam Jackson scored against Luton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

But that has not stopped Craig Hignett staging a ‘set-piece Tuesday’ at Maiden Castle today.

Ever since starting the Pools job just 12 days ago, Hignett has relished the prospect of getting to coach the players.

A spell of three games in eight days has rather restricted him to match-specific work but today he got to go through set-pieces.

Pools have scored from three dead balls – a Billy Paynter penalty and two towering Adam Jackson headers via Jake Gray corners.

“I want more from set-pieces,” said Hignett.

“That’s why we have a set-piece session planned [for today], so they will get better and we will work at it and improve.”

It is part of the Hignett philosophy to leave absolutely nothing to chance.

Not only does the 46-year-old want to coach Pools extensively, he wants his players to understand why they are doing certain manoeuvres.

“I’m loving this job, the results of last week aside, and it’s been brilliant working with the lads,” he said.

“There’s going to be a method into how we do it and why we do it. There’s a reason behind everything we do.

“I said before that I could not wait for this week – a full week of training.

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“I’ve seen them improving with what we have done already but they can only get better.

“We showed a better understanding of what we are trying to do [at Luton] and how we will go about it.

“We managed the game better, we didn’t try and play out from the back like we had done in the previous two games.

“That’s something I’ve got to learn as a gaffer to changed how I want to play a little bit.

“But then you saw when the game opened up in the second half at Luton we can play from the back and through midfield.

“Saturday’s game plan worked perfect, we just didn’t quite get the right result.”

The prowess of Hignett, allied to first-team coach Curtis Fleming, will be key for Pools this week.

Pools have a mammoth challenge on their hands this Saturday – how to take on Northampton Town.

The Cobblers are not walking away with the championship – they are sprinting Usain Bolt-like to League One.

Northampton are on a nine-game winning run and are 18 points above the play-off places.

Pools though are scoring goals, five in Hignett’s three matches, while Paynter has three in his last four games.