Hartlepool boss could make changes for Blackpool test

Craig Hignett could ring the changes, despite his side stopping the rot by recording a surprise, battling draw on the south coast.

Saturday, 24th December 2016, 5:27 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:12 pm
Craig Hignett

Pools fought tooth and nail to hang on to a point against Portsmouth but the manager is considering changing personnel, rather than sticking with the XI, for the visit of Blackpool on Monday.

“At home we may look to be different,” said the former Middlesbrough assistant ahead of the Boxing Day encounter.

“We have games to come and I need the squad.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’ve a lot of young players who can come in if needed, with a core of the squad of about 20 and I have to make sure I can use them.”

One player who would be unlucky to miss out would be Rhys Oates.

The forward put in a hearty shift out on the left of midfield against Pompey.

And Hignett was full of praise for the player he brought in from the cold last week.

“Rhys was excellent for 60 minutes on his first game for me,” he said.

“I know what you get with him, and he’s not pleasing on the eye at times but he has a burst of pace.

“He is strong and won’t give an easy ride to the opposition.”

Gary Bowyer brings his side to the Vic, with eyes on promotion.

And Hignett knows that they will provide a stern test of his side’s new found character on Monday.

“I have got a lot of respect for Gary. He is a top lad. Someone I know well,” said Hignett of the opposition boss.

“We have had them watched - we know what makes them tick.

“Hopefully we will see a good game, not an open one.

“We want to continue what we did last week.

“We want to be better with the ball, which we will see more of.

“It will be about how we break them down.”